A day after leaving the Washington Capitals to attend to a family matter, Alex Ovechkin announced Wednesday that his father, Mikhail, has died.
“Today I lost my father,” Ovechkin wrote in Russian on Instagram. “I thank everyone for the support, but please be understanding and do not disturb my family in this difficult time for us. Thank you.”
Mikhail Ovechkin was 71. Ovechkin‘s father dealt with health issues over the years as he underwent heart surgery in 2014. He was also unable to attend the Capitals‘ Stanley Cup run in 2018, though Ovechkin brought the Cup to him when he returned to Russia. Last year, in a soccer friendly for Moscow Dynamo FC, Ovechkin wore No. 3 in the exhibition contest to honor his father, a former professional soccer player.
The Capitals announced Tuesday that Ovechkin was taking time away from the team to attend to a family matter and the “health of a loved one.” Coach Peter Laviolette said Ovechkin would miss the “foreseeable future,” ruling the Capitals captain out at least a week.
Ovechkin, the NHL’s second all-time leading goal scorer, leads the Capitals with 32 goals this season.