Ex-Ottawa Senators forward Alexei Yashin has defied team loyalties to support his club CSKA Moscow’s crosstown rival Dynamo in its Gagarin Cup final decider Wednesday.
Dynamo will play away at Siberian team Avangard Omsk in the KHL’s final game after mounting a comeback from 3-1 down to level the best-of-seven series, which was marred when Avangard defenseman Anton Belov failed a doping test after the fourth game.
Dynamo is the first Moscow team to reach the final and knocked out SKA St. Petersburg, who earlier beat CSKA, in the Western Conference final.
“It’ll be really great if Dynamo wins the final because it’s important for our hockey, for Moscow,” Yashin told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Yashin played two seasons for Dynamo before joining the Senators in 1993, and he remains loyal to his old team, he said.
“Of course I have a bit of a preference for Dynamo because I’m a former Dynamo man and that team, that club, played a big role in my life.”
Yashin, 38, left the NHL in 2007 and played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and SKA before joining CSKA in 2011, where he notched up 10 goals and 11 assists in 46 games this season.