Ovechkin announces the passing of his father Mikhail
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin announced the death of his father, Mikhail Ovechkin, on Wednesday.
The announcement comes one day after the Capitals announced Ovechkin would be taking a leave from the team to attend to a family matter and the health of a loved one.
"Today my father passed away," Ovechkin wrote on Instagram, as translated by Google. "I thank everyone for their support, but I ask you to be understanding and not disturb my family at such a difficult time for us! Thank you."
"The Washington Capitals organization is saddened to hear of the passing of our captain Alex Ovechkin's father, Mr. Mikhail Ovechkin," the team said in a statement. "Mr. Ovechkin was a true gentleman and was such a significant and consistent presence at Capitals games and practices. With a constant smile on his face, he loved interacting with our fans and expressing his gratitude for their support of his son, of whom he was incredibly proud.
"Our organization's thoughts are with the Ovechkin family at this difficult time."
Ovechkin has 32 goals and 54 points in 54 games this season with the Capitals, who currently sit in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The 37-year-old continues to chase Wayne Gretzky's all-time NHL goals record of 894, having passed Gordie Howe for second all-time earlier this year. He has 812 goals and 1,464 points in 1,328 career games.