Report: Vladimir Putin Offered Alex Ovechkin, Other Russian NHLers $30 Million Each To Stay In Russia

Alex Ovechkin was one of several Capitals to return to Washington Tuesday as the NHL season is finally getting underway. If Russian president Vladimir Putin had his way, however, Ovechkin would have stayed in Russia.

According to a report in the New York Post, Ovechkin, Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk and Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk were prepared to make a joint announcement last Friday that they were going to stay in the Kontinental Hockey League regardless of what happened with the NHL lockout. Not only that, but Putin offered to pay each player $30 million to do so. Apparently, the NHLPA talked them out of it (though Kovalchuk still remains in Russia).

Of course, Ovechkin returned to Washington, but that doesn't mean that he didn't consider staying.

"I was in same position like [Kovalchuk]," Ovechkin said Tuesday. "I talk to him and I talk to Malkin, I talk to Datsyuk, I talk to all the Russian players there. Again, if the deal, if they going to cut our contracts probably I’ll stay there."

Meanwhile, KHL president Alexander Medvedev said in an interview Tuesday that, to quote ProHockeyTalk, "the new CBA might be grounds for the termination of contracts signed prior to it."

Crisis averted...for now?

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