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Washington Capitals star ahead Alex Ovechkin was seemingly stored away from the media forward of Thursday’s video game towards the New York Rangers just hours after his native Russia invaded Ukraine.
Ovechkin, who is a recognised general public supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was asked for by the media Thursday early morning but was not produced obtainable as the crew required to keep the focus on the sport in opposition to the Rangers, according to Washington Article defeat reporter Samantha Pell.
Ovechkin, who has played in about 100 online games for the Russian National Hockey crew, is reportedly predicted to address the circumstance but “would like additional time,” Pell additional.
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The 2018 Stanley Cup champion has been a recognised supporter of Putin. In 2017 he announced he was starting “PutinTeam,” a social motion to assist Putin in the 2018 Russian elections.
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On Friday, the NHL star’s Instagram profile photo was a snap of him and Putin alongside one another.
Ovechkin faced off in opposition to fellow Russian Artemi Panarin, who previously criticized Putin and final 12 months posted his guidance on social media for opposition chief Alexei Navalny. Soon immediately after building his political sights identified, a Russian tabloid accused him of beating an 18-yr-outdated female in Latvia in 2011.
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The Rangers put Panarin on a two-week depart, calling the accusations fabricated and element of an “intimidation tactic” since of his political sights.
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“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations in this fabricated story. This is clearly an intimidation tactic remaining made use of in opposition to him for being outspoken on latest political events. Artemi is obviously shaken and anxious and will take some time absent from the team,” the Rangers reported at the time.
Both equally gamers nonetheless have relatives in Russia, according to experiences.
WHD News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.