Continued from page 1

“It’s a good feelings, you know? It’s not that feeling anymore when you can do whatever you want; you have a girl with a tennis racket and she can hit you,” Ovechkin said with a smile. “It’s great feelings for me right now.”

Those great feelings will translate over to his teammates, coaches and fans if Ovechkin is able to score like he did late last season. He finished with 38 goals, which would convert to about 22 in a shortened season.

But just having Ovechkin back in the D.C. area is nice for now. As of Tuesday, New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk had decided to remain in Russia, at least until he can review the new CBA.

“I was in same position like him. I talk to him and I talk to Malkin, I talk to Datsyuk, I talk to all the Russian players there,” Ovechkin said. “If they cut our contracts probably, I’ll stay there.”

But Ovechkin stayed in contact with the NHLPA and spoke to his lawyer and “financial guy,” then boarded a plane back. Count coach Adam Oates among those happy to have him back from the KHL.

“It was good. Really good. Excited to see him,” Oates said. “Glad he’s in one piece.”