As if there was ever any real chance he wouldn’t, Alex Ovechkin is returning to North America to play for the Capitals.
This unsurprising news comes via the Washington Post, which was told by Ovechkin’s IMG agent, David Abrutyn that his client would be back in town early this week to prepare for the NHL season.
Early in the lockout, Ovechkin had threatened to stay in the KHL with Dynamo Moscow if his NHL salary was negatively affected by the new CBA. And while it’s likely he’ll lose a decent amount to escrow under the new deal, the $300 million of “make whole” funds will help alleviate that loss, and there were no outright salary rollbacks.
Also, his “soul” is with the Caps, so that must count for something.
The question now is whether any other Russians with NHL contracts will attempt to stay in the KHL. We say “attempt” because the two leagues have an agreement to honor each other’s contracts. However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie is hearing certain KHL teams are offering “inducements” to players to convince them to stay.