Our grandfather, my father, is even more amazing! Modest and kind. When Alex was born, he was not even one month old, grandpa moved in with us. His work became a secondary thing, he was babysitting Alex. He fed him, walked him while I was at work. He was taking him to the training, traveled to many games. He carried his duffel bag. Now he is really proud of his grandson. Just couldn't reach Washington yet. He is old.
By Mike Vogel, capitals.nhl.com, Oct 27, 2008:
Caps left wing Alex Ovechkin is back in his native Russia where he is visiting his grandfather, who has taken ill. Ovechkin will miss Tuesday night's game with the Nashville Predators at Verizon Center and his status beyond that will be determined on a day-to-day basis.
Capitals Insider, Oct. 27, 2008:
GM George McPhee said Ovechkin called him last night to tell him about his grandfather.
"I'm not sure how tough the decision was for him, he was basically looking for permission to go," McPhee said. "Family is more important than anything and you go and come back when you're ready."
Boudreau said: "It's tough because it had nothing to do with team, it has everything to do with family. It's like everybody here, if a loved one, who was very close to us, was not in good health, we would feel the same way. Sometimes he bottles it up. But you can tell from the way he relates with his mother and father that they've got a very close family relationship."
I asked both McPhee and Boudreau whether they thought maybe his grandfather's health had been weighing on him in recent days or weeks. Both said they did not know and had not asked.
"Who knows?" Boudreau said. "I just said, 'You have to get going home.' Because it's more important that he be with his family at a time like this."
I found one article (May 8, 2008) where Alex speaks about his Grandpa. His Grandpa's name is Nikolai and he is almost 80 years old. This was about a Victory Day (The Russia's World War 2 victory over Nazi Germany) which is also a Memorial Day in Russia. SovSport asked several hockey players what the Victory Day meant to them.
My grandfather Nicholai fought [in the World War 2]. He is old, almost 80. Every time I call him on May 9th to congratulate him on the occasion. Frankly he told me very little about the war. He doesn't want to share the memories, it was a difficult time, he is holding it to himself... If I was in Moscow on the Victory Day, I always tried to watch the parade on Red Square. I take this opportunity to congratulate all our Veterans. A bow to you for your deeds!
Capitals Insider, Oct. 27, 2008; 2:53 PM ET, "Ovechkin Could Miss Two Games":
I just spoke to Konstantin Selinevich, Ovechkin's business manager and a friend of the family. He said Alex's grandfather has been hospitalized for a few weeks, but in the past 48 hours has taken a turn for the worse. Selinevich said he's not sure exactly what is ailing 83-year-old Nikolay Kabayev but his vital signs are weak.
Kabayev is Ovechkin's mother's father, and he helped look after Ovechkin when he was a young boy, and that's why they have such a close bond.
Ovechkin left Washington this morning, will take a connection from Atlanta to Russia this afternoon and will arrive in Moscow tomorrow.
Right now, Ovechkin is scheduled to return on Sunday, Selinevich said. That, of course, would mean he'll miss Saturday's game in Buffalo, too.
Selinevich also said Ovechkin was grateful that GM George McPhee and the Caps have been so understanding of the situation.
By Eric McErlain, Off Wing Opinion, Oct. 27, 2008:
Click here for Washington Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau talk about Alex Ovechkin leaving the team to be with his ailing grandfather.
First half, Semin answers questions through Slava Malamud, second half, same as above, Boudreau talks about Alex Ovechkin leaving the team to be with his ailing grandfather.