Thursday morning, the Russian Hockey Federation announced that Alex Ovechkin would not participate in the 2017 World Championship being held in France and Germany. Ovechkin opted out due to a lower-body injury that he was taking pain killers for.
After Russia’s 3-0 win over Denmark, Russia head coach Oleg Znarok was asked about the The Great Eight’s decision. Znarok revealed slightly more about the nature of Ovechkin’s injuries.
“Sasha always comes to play for Russia,” Znarok said. “But in this case he played injured, on injections… his knee and hamstring. So naturally he said there is only 25 spots on the roster, I don’t want to undermine the team. I appreciate his candor.”
The knee injury could be traced back to the Game Five hit Ovechkin absorbed from Nazem Kadri during the first round.
Znarok was later asked if he would have invited Ovechkin even if he weren’t injured.
“I did invite him anyway,” Znarok said. “Even with his injury. But he understands better whether he can help us in this situation or not. And I appreciate that.”
Translation by Igor Kleyner.