Rumors about the end of a career and a visit to the capital of winter OI-2022: how Ovechkin spends the offseason in the NHL
Washington captain Alexander Ovechkin visited the capital of the 2022 Olympics as an NHL ambassador. Sports experts consider this a good sign, believing that the league will nevertheless release its players to participate in the Games. Meanwhile, the American media are discussing the possible completion of a career as a star striker after his current contract expires in 2021. At the same time, Ovechkin himself notes that he will make a decision, starting from the state of his health.
Forward “Washington Capitals” Alexander Ovechkin is the most talked about player this season in the NHL. The North American media does not cease to be interested in when a star legionnaire plans to end his career, while the hockey player himself is active in social activities and gives evasive answers about his future.
In particular, the Stanley Cup holder, in an interview with correspondents on the League’s official website, refused to discuss the end of professional performances on ice. “Let's talk about this in two years,” retorted the striker.
At the same time, Ovechkin previously shared his thoughts with the Russian media about what he will do after he says goodbye to hockey.
“How much will I play? Everything will depend on health, because I do not want to be broken. After completing a career, I want to play with children and feel normal. Will I head the Ministry of Sports of Russia? Let's see, then it will be seen, ”- quotes the words of the striker“ Championship ”.
Western media and personal fans of Ovechkin overseas are concerned about such rhetoric of the Russians. The thing is that the current agreement between Ovechkin and Washington expires after 2021, and by that time the player will celebrate his 35th birthday. And if Alexander loses the incentive to catch up with Wayne Gretzky in the list of the best NHL scorers, then he may well end his career.
However, Yahoo Sports analysts call such forecasts pessimistic and note that in the person of Alexander the Great the league may lose the brightest performer.
“It is shocking that Alexander can really leave the NHL after some time. His hockey star has been an integral part of this league since his first season in 2005. Goalkeepers will have a safer time. It’s amazing that the generation of these talents is coming to an end, ”says columnist Stephen Psychojios.
Peking duck and meeting with fans
While journalists are discussing Ovechkin’s future, the forward himself is not only resting, but also engaged in socially useful activities.
Earlier this month, the hockey player visited Moscow, where he announced the start of the second all-Russian youth hockey tournament “Alexander Ovechkin Cup”, which will be held in the Moscow region from August 11 to 17, after which he went to the capital of the Winter Olympics 2022 - Beijing.
The attacker arrived in China as an NHL ambassador. His visit was aimed at improving partnerships between China and the league, since the development of hockey in the country is a priority for the NHL. However, in the visit of the titled player, fans around the world saw a good sign. A visit to the facilities under construction for the upcoming Olympics prompted the thought that the league leadership would back down from the previous decision and still let its players go to the 2022 Winter Games.
The arrival of the Russian striker caused unprecedented excitement in the Chinese capital. Dozens of fans met Ovechkin already at the airport, in addition, business meetings with a hockey player were held by the leaders of the local San Devil club and one of the country's main hockey patrons Zhou Yunjie.
According to the tradition established in the National Hockey League, Ovechkin held several workshops with children and devoted time to one of his young fans. 10-year-old William, specially to meet his idol, flew to Beijing from Shanghai.
William taught the Russian star to write his name and game number in Chinese characters, after which he played a video game with a hockey player in which the pucks were collected with Chinese chopsticks.
The NHL stars did not go unnoticed and the main attractions of the future capital of the Winter Olympics. Ovechkin visited the Temple of Heaven during the Ming Dynasties, toured the Forbidden City - the complex where the Chinese emperors lived - and marked his journey to the Great Wall of China. The hockey player visited the Mutianyu site, where he not only made memorable photos, but also rode a toboggan.
The forward was happy to share his impressions with subscribers of social networks.
“An excellent experience is to visit the Great Wall of China. There are incredible views. It’s also very hot! Riding a toboggan is really fun, ”the forward told readers of Washington’s official Twitter.
In addition, the Russian striker got acquainted with the gastronomic traditions of Beijing, tasting the traditional duck according to an ancient recipe.
The trip made a tremendous impression on Ovechkin. Summing up the visit, the captain of "Washington" stressed that China is interested in the development of hockey.
“We hope that hockey will develop in China. I met and met a lot of great people who do not understand what hockey is. That is why I tried to show them and explain all the delights of our wonderful game. I think that it is very important for the Chinese people and the Chinese government to build hockey rinks, bring coaches here and learn the game, and it seems to me that they will succeed, ”admitted Ovechkin.
The striker paid special attention to his emotions from communicating with young Chinese hockey players and fans.
“It was a lot of fun with them. Yes, I did not always understand what they wanted to tell me, but it seems to me that the guys will remember this moment until the end of their lives. It was great, ”Ovechkin quotes the official website of the league.
It is worth noting that the current visit to China was the second for Ovechkin. Earlier, the Russian national team striker visited Beijing as a fan during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
According to the striker himself, he intends to return there for the third time, however, he did not begin to specify in what status.