Another KHL team emerged Tuesday as a candidate to sign Alex Ovechkin in the event of an NHL lockout, after KHL champion Dynamo Moscow’s president signaled his opposition.
The new suitor is Vityaz Chekhov, whose president has said his team will move for the Washington Capitals forward if he fails to agree a deal with Dynamo.
Signing Ovechkin would be a coup for Vityaz Chekhov, which has never made the KHL playoffs and finished last in its division in every one of the four KHL seasons to date.
“We don’t have any of our alumni in the NHL, so in the case of Ovechkin not coming to an agreement with Dynamo, I’m ready to talk to him,” Vityaz president Mikhail Golovkov said.
Ovechkin started his professional career with Dynamo and played four seasons for the team before moving to the Capitals in 2005.
Dynamo general director Andrei Safronov had said the team would “talk with Ovechkin” in case of a lockout, but new team president Arkady Rotenberg told R-Sport on Sunday that the star forward “isn’t necessary” for the team.
“I’m actually against it. And I don’t see any prestige in it,” Rotenberg said.
Ovechkin is a five-time NHL all-star, former top scorer and twice top goalscorer, as well as a two-time world championship winner with Russia.
The NHL’s collective contract between the league and the NHL Players’ Association is due to expire next month, with no replacement in place, setting the scene for a lockout such as the one that wiped out the 2004-05 season.