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Ovechkin upset at reports Dynamo may merge with HC MVD

The Canadian Press

4/21/2010 2:28:30 PM

MONTREAL -- Alex Ovechkin was saddened by reports that his old team, Dynamo Moscow, is on its last legs.

Reports from Russia say financially struggling Dynamo will merge with Moscow-area club HC MVD.

"In Russia, they're probably the same as Montreal -- it's a historic team, a great organization," the Washington Capitals scoring star said Wednesday. "I can't believe there's going to be no more Dynamo. It's too bad."

Forward Jiri Hudler, who bolted the Detroit Red Wings to sign with the Kontinental Hockey League team last summer, is reported to have been released from his contract. The Red Wings hope to talk to him about returning to fulfill a US$5.75-million, two-year contract he got in arbitration, although he would not be able to rejoin them until next season.

Defenceman Pavel Valentenko left a contract with the Montreal Canadiens organization to sign with Dynamo early in the 2008-09 season.

Other former NHL players on the team include Danny Markov, Alexei Zhitnik and Mattias Weinhandl.

Ovechkin, who grew up in the Dynamo organization, said he has not contacted the club since the reports surfaced last week.

"I didn't talk to the owner or the guys there," he said. "If it happens, it's not going to be one guy's fault. It'll be all the people who own Dynamo. They won't give out any money any more I think. But right now, I'm concentrating here on the playoffs and not about Dynamo."

He also has no intention of trying to save Dynamo, which was founded in 1946 when it was sponsored by the KGB and had four Soviet League and four Russian League championships, as well as a European Champions Cup title in 2006.

"It's not that simple," he said. "What can I do? If I say don't do it, who is going to listen to me? It's a pretty hard situation for them, but I think they can find a way to rebuild and be good."

HC MVD is currently in the KHL playoffs against Ak Bars Kazan. MVD's roster includes two Canadians -- goaltender Michael Garnett of Saskatoon and right-winger Matt Ellison of Duncan, B.C.