After spending the second half of last season by himself in D.C., Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has brought his family over from Russia to the DMV as he returns for the 2022-23 campaign.
Ovechkin, his wife Nastya and son, Sergei, headed to FedEx Field on Sunday to take in the Washington Commander’s first game of the NFL season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ovechkins also have another son, Ilya.
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) September 11, 2022
The 36-year-old returned to the United States last Wednesday after spending the offseason in Russia and overseas. Ovechkin not only took part in charity games and other events, but also got to reunite with his family, who he hadn’t seen in months amid tensions with Ukraine and the ongoing 2021-22 season.
Ovechkin had his wife and children in the DMV with him last year, but they travelled back to Russia. He was also unable to reunite with them for the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend due to a positive COVID test. After that, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stopped Ovechkin from going back, and his family remained overseas.
“It was tough. Obviously, I saw my wife only once, one week, and I didn’t see my kids since they left,” Ovechkin had said. “But it’s a good thing we have technology. You can see them, talk to them. I can’t imagine if we were back to’90s, you have to write a message or something. So it would be much harder. Right now we can talk, we can see each other and they know who I am.”
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Ovechkin is entering his 18th NHL season and is looking to continue working toward the all-time goals record. He currently sits in sole possession of third place with 780 goals, which also makes him the highest-scoring European in NHL history. He needs 115 more goals to break Wayne Gretzky’s once thought-to-be unbreakable record of 894.
It is unclear how long Ovechkin’s family will remain in D.C. for, or if they are staying all season. Training starts for veterans on Sept. 21 with off-ice testing, and the regular season starts on Oct. 12 against the Boston Bruins.