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article imageOp-Ed: Go ahead, Alexander Ovechkin - make my hockey day

By Marcus Hondro     Sep 20, 2012 in Sports
We're but two weeks past a loopy performance by the chair man, Clint Eastwood, at the U.S. Republican Party convention so we are mixing politics and hockey. With what message? That Alexander Ovechkin's threat to stay in the KHL would make my day.
This is what Ovechkin told Russian media after signing with Dynamo Moscow to play in the KHL this season until the NHL lockout ends, or, he says, maybe beyond: “As to the future, it will depend on what kind of conditions there will be in the NHL with the new CBA,” Ovechkin told the news agency RIA Novosti. “If our contracts get slashed, I will have to think whether to return there or not. I won’t rule out staying in the KHL, even past this season.”
NHL fans pay NHL players giant salaries
For my money, if Ovechkin stayed in the KHL it would be fine. If he's gonna complain about losing something from his $9.5 million per year contract - he managed a paltry 65 points for all that money last season - then maybe he should stay over there. He's surely not getting anything near that in the KHL so a complaint at potentially dropping down to, say, 9 million, seems odd.
But Ovechkin is a great example of the greed the modern day NHL player has. His disappointing 2011-12 point total - and at -8 on a plus team he's no defensive gem - should see him more contrite. Should see him recognize the fans who pay his salary are doing without and it's not the time to rub salt in their wound. But Ovechkin, like other NHLers, consider their contracts a right, not a privilege, and they've taken great umbrage at having to endure that right being questioned.
It's unfortunate for fans that not only must they pay exorbitant costs in most markets to cheer for their team and now endure another lockout, they also have to stomach players who are richer than imaginable threatening to leave at the thought of earning a penny less.
Ovechkin bound by Washington Capital contract
When a new CBA is signed unless his current contract has run out - which does not happen until 2021 when he's 36 - he has to play the NHL. If the KHL allowed him to continue over there they'd be in violation of an agreement between the two leagues and be sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation. (IIHF). So it's likely the KHL won't touch him past the lockout.
But if they did, well, if they did Ovechkin may already be in a dramatic decline and fans outside of Washington have likely seen enough of his goal celebrations, so his loss might not big as big an event as he seems to think. Fact is that, given that decline and given his attitude, an Ovechkin departure might make my day and the day of many other NHL fans.
Who knows, maybe it'd even make Clint Eastwood's day.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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