Some bad news for Alex Ovechkin from his alumni club Moscow Dynamo. Arkady Rotenberg (the link has reference to him), their new president, is a Russian billionaire who is also Vladimir Putin's judo buddy. It is obviously translates into a huge financial and political support for Dynamo. Ton of money, but is there some for Ovi in event of NHL lockout? Apparently not...
This is what the new Dynamo president Arkady Rotenberg said on Saturday to Sovietsky Sport writer Dmitry Nesterov:
I think that Ovechkin is not needed. I even talked to his mom. She called about Sovietsky Sport article with GM Andrey Safronov who said, "if we'll call Sasha we are not going to offer him a whole lot of money, it's better to invest the money in the junior sports school".
Mom said, "Is my son going to play for Dynamo for free so that you will finance juniors?" But in essence Safronov asked me about Ovechkin and I told him that we would not going to outbid other teamsw. It's better to spend three millions [Ovechkin] is asking on juniors. They are our future.
Sasha's mom said, "What if he will want to play for another team where he will be paid differently?" I said, "No problem. But personally I am not ready to pay such money."
On the one hand one can understand Rothenberg's position. Dynamo didn't spend too much money last year and still became playoff champion last season. And now, with the new president of the club, they are not going to change the strategy either.
Yes, this is not 2004. Now there's a very different attitude towards the NHL players in Russia.
But then again ... I can't imagine Ovechkin not in Dynamo's uniform. He is the most famous alumnu of the club. A man who never forgot his first team, a man who held the post of vice-president of the club. A man who helped Dynamo's junior sports school. And suddenly... bye bye Ovechkin.
Here it is, the end of the world.
Update: Mikhail Golovkov, who used to be Moscow Dynamo's president and now the president of Moscow region HC Vityaz, has expressed an interest in case Dynamo won't sign Ovechkin.
I am pretty sure Ovi will get something and maybe for even more than 3 mil a season.