A former NHL legend has some harsh words for Alexander Ovechkin.
Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the Capitals star, who has outwardly supported Russia president Vladimir Putin. With Russia invading neighboring Ukraine, Hasek says that “chicken s--t” Ovechkin should be suspended from the NHL, along with all other Russian players, due to their home country’s attack on Ukraine.
“Not only an alibist, a chicken s--t, but also a liar!” Hasek tweeted about Ovechkin, with a photo included of Ovechkin speaking to reporters on Friday. “Every adult in Europe knows well, that Putin is a mad killer and that Russia is waging an offensive war against the free country and its people. The NHL must immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players! Every athlete represents not only himself and his club, but also his country and its values and actions. That is a fact. If the NHL does not do so, it has indirect co-responsibility for the dead in Ukraine.”
Ovechkin, a native of Moscow, said “Please, no more war,” when asked about Russia’s attack of Ukraine, and when asked of his support of Putin, said, “Well, he’s my president, but I’m not in politics. I’m an athlete. I hope everything is going to be done soon. It’s a sad situation right now for both sides.”
Ovechkin has family still in Russia, where he spends much of his offseasons, while other Russian players in the NHL have outwardly opposed Putin, including Rangers forward Artemi Panarin, who posted on Instagram support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny last year, and shortly after, a story surfaced out of Russia, with a former coach as a witness, that Panarin struck a woman 10 years ago.
Panarin took a leave of absence, former teammates in Russia said they had no recollection of such an event, and the Rangers issued a statement saying that it was a fabricated story. But even when it comes to athletes that oppose Putin, Hasek says a statement needs to be made.
“I am very sorry for those Russian athletes, who condemn Putin and his Russian aggression in Ukraine,” Hasek wrote. “However, at the moment I also consider their exclusion a necessity.”