Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has admitted in the past that he will at times ask Alex Ovechkin for input on moves or hirings the front office is trying to make. Most recently, MacLellan revealed that Ovechkin was consulted at “the beginning and at the end when we decided to hire [new head coach Spencer Carbery].”
Before returning to America, Ovechkin spoke about his relationship with the Capitals’ front office during a recent Russian-language interview with the YouTube channel, This is hockey, brother!
Hosts Artem Batrak and Alexey Shevchenko dug into Ovechkin’s power with the Capitals’ front office, asking him to compare himself to Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby.
“Sometimes says that Sidney Crosby wanted to keep this or that hockey player,” they noted.
Ovechkin deflected any direct comparison, but explained that he was happy to weigh in when needed.
“I don’t know what’s going on in Pittsburgh, how it all works, but in Washington, if they ask for any advice, I give it,” Ovechkin said per a Google Translation.
He used the recent situation with close friend Dmitry Orlov. The Russian defenseman was dealt by the Capitals at the 2023 trade deadline to the Boston Bruins and eventually signed with the Carolina Hurricanes during free agency. Ovechkin might be consulted on some moves, but he understands the pecking order and the constraints of the salary cap.
“I’m not a general manager, I can’t manage a team,” Ovechkin said. “My task is completely different.
“I would love for Dima to stay,” he added. “We are actually neighbors down the street. His wife is the godmother of (Ovi Jr). Do you think I wouldn’t say: ‘Keep Dima?’”
During the season, The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir reported that MacLellan met with Ovechkin as the Caps’ strategy shifted to sell and retool ahead of the trade deadline. The writer noted that Ovechkin “[was] not happy about the situation” but understood why it was happening.
“I always meet some of the older guys,” MacLellan said in response. “I met with Ovi just to tell him what I thought would happen down the stretch here just so he’s getting a heads up on the reasons why. Why it was going to happen and what we hope to accomplish through the trade deadline.”
Ovechkin said that he remains great friends with Orlov — though he wouldn’t 100 percent rule out fighting his former teammate if push comes to shove.
“Why not? This is hockey,” Ovechkin said. “In hockey, your friends are off the ice. When you go on the ice, all your friends are only on your team. Here emotions are overwhelming. It is very difficult to stop yourself if something happens. And you don’t look whether your friend or your brother is there.
“We have a great relationship with Orlov,” he concluded. “Dima is a good friend. It’s a shame he left. But, again, this is business. The general manager did what he had to do. If he didn’t want to sign the…
Read More: ‘If they ask for any advice, I give it’ 2023-09-10 23:17:58