Ovechkin: I’ll stay in the KHL if the NHL cuts salaries

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Alex Ovechkin is threatening to stay in the KHL past this season, even if a new CBA between the NHL and NHLPA is negotiated before then.

“If our salaries get slashed, I’ll have to think about whether to return to NHL,” Ovechkin said upon joining Dynamo Moscow, as per Slava Malamud of Sport-Express.

“I won’t rule out staying in Russia past this season”

Whether he could carry out such a threat is another thing.

The NHL and KHL have an agreement to honor each other’s contracts, and once a new NHL CBA is signed and the lockout ends, Ovechkin would be under contract to the Capitals.

Perhaps the KHL could argue Ovechkin’s NHL contract was violated if the new CBA results in rollbacks or other lost salary. However, not only would that be a tough case to make, it would be fraught with potential consequences, such as the NHL barring its players from the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia.

Related: Ovechkin especially motivated to fight owners