Hockey Critic

Dynamo Moscow wants Ovechkin back

And can you blame them? Even though Sidney Crosby stole much of the spotlight over the last couple of years and in the early parts of this season, one could easily make the case that Alexander Ovechkin has been the best NHL rookie so far this season. Now his old Russian team, Dynamo Moscow, wants a U.S. court to enforce a Russian arbitrator's ruling that it still owns the rights to the first overall pick from the 2004 NHL draft. This summer, Ovechkin met a deadline to opt out of his 2005-06 contract with another Russian club, Avangard Omsk. This meant he could play with the Washington Capitals of the NHL. But his previous Russian club, Dynamo Moscow, says that it has the rights to the 20 year old phenom because it matched Avangard Omsk's offer to Ovechkin but without an opt-out clause.

As one would expect, the Washington Capitals are a bit perturbed by this move. There is no way that they are going to take this lying down and have begun an assault to dismiss this suit. Capitals general manager George McPhee issued a statement saying that, "We have been assured by legal counsel that both the ruling and the attempt to enforce it in the U.S. are without merit. Alex exercised his right to opt out of the Russian contract this past summer and signed with the Capitals. We are confident that the court will uphold Alex's contractual status and decision." One has to wonder about the motives of Moscow Dynamo - is this just an attempt to extort some money from the Caps? There is little chance of Ovechkin going back to play hockey in Russia.

posted at 17:06:36 on 11/21/05 by HockeyCritic - Category: Trades & Rumours

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