Alex Ovechkin on Olympics: There is always a chance

Tim and Sid discuss whether people will still watch the Olympics despite the NHL electing to skip the tournament.

So you’re telling me there’s a chance.

The NHL has not wavered on its decision to forego participation in the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The same can also be said for Alex Ovechkin and his continued desire to play, which he reiterated earlier this week.

Ovechkin told Russian news outlet Sport-Express that he’s still hopeful he could represent Russia at the Olympic rink next February.

“We are hoping they let me perform,” he said in Russian, as translated by Sportsnet. “There is always a chance.”

This latest statement comes around the same time as the NHL’s announcement that any player under NHL contract — even those playing in the minors — will not be permitted to play at the Games.

Ovechkin has been vocal about his Olympic hopes throughout the league’s long negotiation process that dominated headlines over the course of the 2016-17 NHL season.

“It’s the biggest opportunity in your life to play in the Olympic Games,” he said back in April, shortly after the NHL announced its decision not to go to the Games. “Somebody going to tell me I don’t go, I don’t care, I just go.”

Connor McDavid, Erik Karlsson, Johnny Gaudreau, and Claude Giroux are among others who have spoken out on the topic.

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has even gone on the record to support his captain’s Olympic dream, though that was back in December — before the NHL’s official ruling.

Ovechkin has suited up for Team Russia on the Olympic stage three times, registering eight goals in 17 games, but has never reached the podium. He has also been known to jet across the pond to join Team Russia during the IIHF world championships upon the Capitals’ elimination from the post-season, helping his country claim eight medals – including three golds – since 2005.

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