MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti)
(UPDATES with minor edits)
Alex Ovechkin has signed a lockout contract with his old KHL team Dynamo Moscow, a team official told R-Sport on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Washington Capitals star has been in the Russian capital negotiating with Dynamo and cross-town rival CSKA Moscow in recent days, but ultimately opted for the team that reared him.
The team official spoke to R-Sport on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.
Ovechkin joins fellow Russian Evgeni Malkin back in his homeland after the Pittsburgh Penguins star inked a lockout deal with his former team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Ovechkin switched to the Capitals from Dynamo Moscow in 2005 to go on to become a 2009 league MVP and five-time All-Star. Last season, however, disciplinary problems and lengthy goalless spells have seen him finish on a career low 38 goals and 27 assists.
He turned pro at Dynamo at the age of 16, going on to notch up 36 goals and 33 assists in 151 games.
The deadline for averting a lockout passed Saturday with the NHL and the players’ association expired failing to agree terms on a collective contract.
At least 13 NHLers have already signed lockout deals to play in the expanding Eastern European league, most returning natives.
Rules prevent more than three from joining any one team, and Metallurg is the only team so far to fill the quota.
After Malkin brought Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar with him, the pair were joined by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin.
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