SovSport correspondent Pavel Lysenkov had a phone interview with Alexander Ovechkin yesterday and asked him about the prospect of playing at the "Big O". "Chic idea!" immediately reacted Ovechkin. "It is cool if the league has invited our team to the Montréal's celebration. I have a personal reason, my mother became the Olympic champion in basketball in that city. She was there as a member of Soviet Union delegation at the opening and closing ceremonies. Well, it would be nice if I could play at that arena 33 years later."
But the stadium is in poor condition. Aren't you afraid to get hit in the head by the piece of the roof if it'll collapse?
Not at all. If the organizers have decided to hold the game there, then I think they will take care of the athletes' safety.
When did you last played hockey outdoors?
As a child.
Just recently U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Moscow. Do you know that he had said some warm words about you?
Yes, I was told. That was a huge compliment. It's nice that people of his significance know about me.
Have you ever had a chance to meet with U.S. President before? Maybe on a White House visit?
Not yet. As we know only the Stanley Cup winners can be invited by the President. I hope I'll have that visit in the future.
When will you start your pre-season training?
In three days. Right now I've left Moscow for business reasons. As soon as I will be back I will start my training. I'll talk to my trainer Dima Kapitonov, he had previously prepared me for the hockey season. Maybe I will re-engage with him in Novogorsk. I can't give you exact plans.
Do you keep an eye on what Washington is doing on the agents signing? They have signed Morrison, Gordon, Knuble...
Of course I do. So far I am happy, but I think GM George McPhee wil also try to sign a strong defenseman.
How do you assess the conflict situations between the NHL and KHL, when the players sign double contracts? Here's the list: Kwiatkowski, Dadonov... and the list goes on.
I think this is the stupidity on the part of the hockey players and their agents. You need to respect your team. If you have signed the contract, oblidge to it and do not flee at once. Otherwise what were you thinking when you were signing it? Personally I'd put the human relationships ahead of the money considerations. We can't let the employer down like that.
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