The NHL season hasn’t started and we already have a rumor. Earlier today it was reported that the president of the KHL Alex Medvedev has hinted that Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin could go home and join the KHL.
If there is any truth to this rumor than the NHL should start scrambling now, but this could all be a good old fashion conspiracy theory. It is well-known that some NHL owners do not want their players to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics, and it is also well know that both Ovechkin and Malkin both want to play for Russia again. Could this just be the start of a “war”between the Russian KHL and the NHL? Maybe, but most likely this is a case of wishful thinking.
Both players have years left on their NHL contracts. Alex Ovechkin has seven years remaining on his 13-year $124 million deal with the Washington Capitals. On the other hand Evgeni Malkin is just getting started on his new eight-year, $76 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both players are very valuable to their teams and if returning home is what they want than fine, but I can see that happening any time soon.
I will give Medvedev credit for having the guts to put this idea out there, and he can’t be faulted for having dreams. But, as I alluded to earlier the only way I see this happening is if the NHL doesn’t allow their players to play in the next Winter Olympics. When you look at the bigger picture the KHL is still an inferior league. The world’s best will still continue to call the NHL home.