WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is remaining in Russia after his father underwent emergency heart surgery earlier this week, the team’s general manager said.
Capitals GM George McPhee said Thursday that Mikhail Ovechkin fell ill on Feb. 16 following the Olympic men’s hockey game between Russia and Slovakia in Sochi.
McPhee said Mikhail Ovechkin “probably had a heart attack and had surgery.” He was placed in the intensive care unit immediately following the surgery but now is listed in stable condition.
McPhee said he spoke with Ovechkin on the phone Wednesday and told the Caps captain to “stay as long as necessary” in Sochi with his dad.
McPhee said Ovechkin didn’t know about his dad’s surgery until after his Russian team was eliminated from Olympic competition by Finland on Wednesday.
“It’s a difficult time for him, really difficult,” McPhee said Thursday. “[We] expect he’ll be pretty darn good when he gets back here.”
The general manager expressed skepticism about blaming Ovechkin for Russia’s failure to medal as the host of the Sochi Games.
“For people to blame Ovechkin for that team’s failure is not proper. There’s a lot of players that haven’t produced over there,” McPhee said.