Medvedev: Ovechkin can join KHL if he gets out of NHL contract Staff

4/11/2014 12:49:18 PM

If Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is ever interested in going back to Russia to play hockey, he'll have to get out of his NHL contract first.

Kontinental Hockey League president issued a statement to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Friday amid speculation that the league may try to court the three-time Hart Trophy winner in the near future.

"Per the terms of our memorandum of understanding with the NHL as it relates to respecting player contracts, Ovechkin would only be free to join a KHL club if he negotiates his way out of his existing contract with the Washington club," said Medvedev in the statement.

"Should that situation come to pass, I have no doubt there are KHL clubs who would have interest in his services."

On Thursday's edition of Insider Trading on the NHL on TSN, LeBrun reported that there were whispers out of the KHL that one of the clubs may try to approach Ovechkin like they did with Ilya Kovalchuk a year ago.

Kovalchuk announced his retirement from the NHL last summer, opting to play with SKA St. Petersburg.

Ovechkin has seven years and $70 million left on his existing contract with the Capitals.

He scored his 50th goal of the season this week and has reached that mark five times in his NHL career. The 28-year-old winger has 421 goals in 677 NHL games.