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Report: Leonsis to allow Ovechkin to play at Sochi 2014

TSN.ca Staff

1/18/2013 10:18:57 AM

Regardless of what the National Hockey League, the NHLPA and the IIHF decide when they sit down to figure out whether or not NHLers will got to the Sochi Olympics in 2014, it appears that at least one player under contract will be there.

According to the Washington Post, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis says he will allow Alex Ovechkin to leave the Capitals and play in the next Olympics.

"If they don't and Alex still wants to go to the Olympics, I'm going to be honest, I'm going to let him go," Leonsis told the Post.  "I just think it's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing for him to have something played in Russia.

"He's going to be a torchbearer and it's very important to him and his family. Who am I to get in the way of him wanting to fulfill that?"

Leonsis also acknowledged to the Post that if let Ovechin go, it could very well start a domino process with other players on the Capitals' roster.

"I know that's a slippery slope because if Nick [Backstrom] says then he wants to play for Sweden, we'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

"But I think that I'm going to lean to the side of the players in that one."

The Capitals open the season against the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Saturday.