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Russian government blocks Alex Ovechkin’s bank account
Credit: Getty Images

It remains to be seen whether Alex Ovechkin can break Wayne Gretzky’s regular-season goals record; Ovechkin has 853 and Gretzky 894. Will Ovie be able to score 42 goals over the next two campaigns, as he turns 39 in September and has slowed considerably over the past year and a half?

If he maintains his 2023-24 production rate, he’ll surpass Gretzky by the middle or end of the 2025-26 season, but that’s IF he keeps up the pace. The Capitals roster isn’t what it once was…

Remember that Ovechkin still has two years left on his contract with the Capitals, and that many rumors have him headed for Russia (KHL) after this deal.

One thing we do know about Ovechkin, however, is that he has no problem making ends meet. CapFriendly estimates his career earnings at just under 140 million USD. Even after taxes and agent commissions, that’s a lot of cash.

And that doesn’t even take into account the millions he’s made in sponsorships over the course of his long career!

That’s why I was surprised to learn this morning that a bank account belonging to the Russian striker (in Russia) has been blocked… due to a debt of less than 50,000 rubles (550 USD) unpaid to the tax department of Vladimir Putin’s federal government.

The story was first reported by the Mash.ruwebsite, and later picked up by a number of Russian media outlets.

We understand that, at the time of writing, Ovechkin has probably already paid his debt and had his bank account unfrozen.

But this story does raise a question: has Ovechkin, who was a proud supporter – even friend – of President Putin, just fallen on the wrong side of the “force”?

I’m not sure the Russian government would have dared block Ovechkin’s bank account for such a small debt before the war, when everything was going well and Ovechkin was constantly having his photo taken with the Kremlin president. The initial request would probably have been turned down and someone would have simply called Alex, right?

Let’s remember Ivan Fedotov: the young goalie hadn’t done his military service, but since he was playing for a wealthy KHL team, it didn’t matter. However, when he planned to leave Russia to try his luck in the NHL, the government had him arrested and sent to Siberia to complete his military training.

When you’re on the right side, there’s no trouble in Russia, but when you turn your back on your “buddies”, things can get a little complicated…

Let’s keep an eye on Ovechkin’s next moves…

He’s been very quiet on social networks for the past few months, but he’s never changed his profile photo (next to President Putin) on Instagram. Is he still as close to Russia’s leaders as he was five or six years ago?

In gusto

– Everyone to the Stadium tonight (and let’s watch what fan groups do to signal their displeasure to the players).

– The driver is OIivier Renard… the passenger is Vassili… the parked car is the CF Montréal season opener… and we are the others.

Wow, #10 from CS St-Laurent had to get the OK from his manager before he could swap his (only) jersey with Bernardeschi.

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