Alex Ovechkin Participates In Opening of New Branch of Avangard Hockey Academy

Ovi Ceremonial Faceoff Omsk DynamoPhoto: Kuzmin Yuri

On August 15, before a pre-season exhibition game between Avangard Omsk and Moscow Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, fresh off a trip to China, participated in a ceremonial puck drop before the game at the Balashikha Arena.

Ovechkin was on hand for the opening of a new branch of the Avangard Hockey Academy that would operate from the Balashikha Arena. Avangard Omsk Hockey Team is normally based in Omsk, Russia, but due to their home arena not being safe to use, the club has temporarily relocated to Moscow, nearly three time zones away.

With a presence now in Moscow, the club made the decision to establish a branch of their hockey academy in one of Russia’s most well-known cities. The academy is designed to nurture and develop the talents of those who are 17-years of age or younger.

Ovechkin commented about the opening of the Avangard Academy in his native city of Moscow following the game:

“God grant that everything will turn out. Opening a branch of the Avangard school is a large-scale project. All talented hockey players should study all over Russia. The more academies [such as Avangard], the better for the development of hockey in our country. What are the future plans for the development of hockey? There’s a lot, but I won’t talk about everyone. On Saturday, I’ll come there and hand out souvenirs and gifts. Perhaps next year the tournament will be larger.”

Ovechkin could also not escape questions about his future plans in hockey, which he answered, “Let’s see what’s coming. In 2021 my contract in Washington expires and I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m looking at a range of options. Everything will depend on my health. I follow the KHL closely online and I think the league is developing the right way. And I always keep in touch with Dynamo Moscow.”

He was also asked questions on the Olympics, as China (from which he returned from a trip as an NHL ambassador) is the site of the 2022 Winter Olympics.  His translated interview with Sports Express is below:

Ovechkin: It was very interesting in China how the country is preparing for the Olympic Games.”

Is there a chance that the NHL will participate in the Olympics?

The NHL invited me to China, so there are chances. Wait and see.

A [Collective Bargaining Agreement] lockout could happen in the NHL. Are you planning to return to Russia during a lockout?

It is clear that in the case of a lockout, a lot of players will come back here. As for me, wait and see. When the time comes, I will make a decision. I have two more years of my contract, and a year before the lockout. We’ll see.

In general, what does the union say about participating in the Olympics?

Unfortunately, there have been no discussions. The first discussion will be during training camp. After that there will be some information.

By Diane Doyle

Further Reading
Sports Express Article on Ovi and Academy Opening
All Russia Hockey Article on Ovi and Opening of Avangard Academy
KHL News August 15
Teller Report — International News Story on Academy
Reuters Story on Original Relocation of Avangard from Omsk

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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2 Responses to Alex Ovechkin Participates In Opening of New Branch of Avangard Hockey Academy

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    It’s all about the Lockout.

    The Crosby-Ovechkin Insurgency was able to defy The Bettman-Fehr Syndicate in 2012 just a bit more than the old-guard NHL did in 2004. We got the bizarre truncated NHL season in 2012-13, leading to the magnificent, immortal GMGM decision to deliver top prospect Forsberg for Erat.

    2004 we had no NHL at all, and the only amusement was that particular European Billionaire company that offered to buy the entire NHL for 3+ billion dollars. The Bettman Tyranny was cemented in place. Now Tom Wilson can get a 20-game suspension simply for being six inches taller than the players he squashes.

    This one will be ugly. Buttman has “upped the ante” by adding real-time betting to the NHL model. “Trust Me Trust Me this won’t have any bearing on game outcomes.” Even worse is the new open bribery — Pay-for-Play — where an expansion team can be added for 500 or 600 million dollars cash-up-front, guaranteeing a rock-solid Lockout partner who will intimidate the NHLPA and individual players at will.

    Listen to what Ovechkin says to the press! It’s Win-now time in Washington, with zero wiggle room. The Ovechkin window will last exactly two seasons, starting now. I wish we were going into this with a real NHL Head Coach behind the Caps’ bench.

  2. Pingback: Capitals’ Prospect Alex Alexeyev: “The Goal Is To Make The Team” | NoVa Caps

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