Despite the NHL’s decision Monday not to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin still plans to play for Russia next year.
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported Tuesday that the NHL’s decision hasn’t changed Ovechkin’s mind on whether or not he will participate.
“Yeah, I didn’t change my mind and I won’t,” Ovechkin said, per LeBrun. “Because it’s my country, I think everybody wants to play there. It’s the biggest opportunity in your life to play in the Olympic Games. So, I don’t know, somebody (is) going to tell me ‘don’t go,’ I don’t care, I just go.”
However, Ovechkin remains hopeful a deal can be reached.
“Yeah, I hope so,” Ovechkin said. “Again, right now, it’s still time to make a decision; you can say whatever, but next year’s schedule is not out yet. So if the schedule is not going to the Olympic Games, then you can see they don’t bluff. But again, still long time, still everything can change. But in my mind, like I said already, I’m going. It doesn’t matter what.”
Ovechkin isn’t the only NHL star to come out against the decision. New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist also was critical of it Monday.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin