As We All Expected, Ovi Is Definitely Playing In the 2018 Olympics No Matter What
So as you might know by now, the NHL has decided not to send their players to the 2018 Olympics. A bit of a power move by the NHL, and I see both sides of the argument for and against it. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is Ovi is still committed to playing for team Russia in the 2018 Olympics. He made this clear before the 2014 Olympics, he reiterated it last year when shit was looking like it might hit the fan, and he tripled down on it today.
It’s a very complicated issue. Ovi is obviously under contract by the Caps, and it is a bit strange if he just up and left for 2 weeks while they continued to play games. But on the other hand, I can’t find room in my life to be outraged that he wants to represent his country in the Olympics. It means a ton to him. His mother was an olympian, and Ovi loves playing for Russia. He’s also pretty much bffs with Putin.
Ted Leonsis has already given Ovi permission to play. Even if Bettman says he can’t, he’s going to anyway. I haven’t a clue what the repercussions will be, but it’ll probably be something like he can’t get paid and his contract will become null if he gets injured.
I think a bigger question is how many others will follow his lead. Will Malkin go? Will some Czech guys go? What about Canadian players who have always wanted to represent Canada at the Olympics? And will their owners give them permission? There’s a lot of questions yet to be answered, and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.