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Ovechkin critical of NHL after latest offer to players

TSN.ca Staff

10/20/2012 6:06:49 PM

Alex Ovechkin, who has not been shy about expressing his opinions during the lockout, has spoken out again about the current labour situation.

Speaking to reporters after a Kontinental Hockey League game in Moscow on Saturday, Ovechkin weighed in on the offers that the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association exchanged this week to try to find a deal to end the lockout.

"The NHL gave fans and media hope. But in reality it is a deception," said Ovechkin. "The league is trying to show that it is working to try and save the season, but they are not offering anything new. It's all the same.

"Owners and players are at war," Ovechkin continued. "Bettman is under heavy pressure and trying to protect himself from criticism. Yes he made an offer and said it was good. But good for who, for Bettman?"

Ovechkin was among the first wave of players to sign KHL contracts when the NHL lockout began on Sept. 15. Playing for Dynamo Moscow, Ovechkin has tallied five goals and seven assists in 12 games this season.

Just over a week ago, the Capitals star said on a conference call with the Washington Times and the Washington Post that a reduction of NHL player salaries in a new deal could convince some Russian players to remain in the KHL even if a labour deal is reached.

"I said it before, before I sign a contract, if the league decides to cut our salaries and cut our contracts for what they want, I don't know how many guys will be coming back," Ovechkin said on the conference call.