Two-time Stanley Cup champion and six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek decried the NHL after the organization allowed Alexander Ovechkin’s son, Sergei, to take part in the NHL All-Star game in Florida over the weekend.
During the breakaway challenge, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had Sergei Ovechkin come out on the ice with him and his father Alexander Ovechkin and the three of them went down the ice passing it back and forth between them before eventually handing it over to Sergei who slipped the puck past former Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who was at the competition as the celebrity goaltender.
Hasek decried the moment writing on Twitter, “The NHL has sunk to rock bottom!”
“Letting Ovechkin’s son perform on the ice at the NHL All-Star is spitting in the face of approximately 500 killed, thousands injured and tens of thousands of kidnapped Ukranian children.” he explained.
Hasek concluded, “The NHL and Gary Bettman must pay for this heinous act!”
In response to a number of users complimenting him for the comments, Hasek further claimed he did it in order to “save many human lives.” Albeit it’s unclear how condemning Sergei Ovechkin participating in NHL All-Star game saves human lives.
Nevertheless, Hasek wrote to one user, “Glad to do it. i am only trying to save many human lives.”
To another he wrote, “Glad to do it. It is for a single target. Save many lives.”
These most recent comments come after Hasek called on the NHL to ban Russian players over the war in the Ukraine. Back in February 2022, he wrote on Twitter, “What!? Not only an alibist, a chicken s**t, but also a liar! Every adult in Europe knows well, that Putin is a mad killer and that Russia is waging an offensive war against the free country and its people.”
He then called for Russians to be banned from the NHL, “The NHL must immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players! Every athlete represents not only himself and his club, but also his country and its values and actions. That is a fact. If the NHL does not do so, it has indirect co-responsibility for the dead in Ukraine.”
Hasek concluded the thread, “I also want to write, that I am very sorry for those Russian athletes, who condemn V. Putin and his Russian aggression in Ukraine. However, at the moment I also consider their exclusion a necessity.”
He told the outlet, “We know that if we don’t stop the Russians in Ukraine then we will be one of the next in line and the tens of thousands of dead and mass graves will be on our territory.”
The former Buffalo Sabres goaltender elaborated, “It should be remembered that the participation of Russian ice hockey players in the NHL is a billion-dollar advertisement for the Russian state and its actions.”
“I think that the value of all Russian athletes who compete with us is in tennis or hockey, etcetera, is worth many hundreds of billions of dollars annually to Russia and its imperialist war. And we give it to them for free, unfortunately,” he detailed.
As for his comments about Ovechkin he said, “I called him chickens–t because I was very upset with what he said.”
“He said politics is not connected to sports, and he doesn’t know about war. Of course, there is a lot he can do,” Hasek asserted.
“However, unless we want to support Russia’s war in Ukraine and all the horrors that come with it, we cannot allow Russian athletes to compete with us at this time. I do not consider their non-participation in any way a sanction against them, but to encourage an end to this war thereby saving tens of thousands of lives, including their fellow Russian soldiers, who were recruited to fight,” he added.
While Hasek’s arguments might convince some people, it doesn’t convince this author. Not all athletes support the actions of their governments. Punishing people for a crime they didn’t commit is also un-American.
As for Ovechkin’s son participating in the All-Star game, in no way, shape, or form is it an heinous act, and it most certainly is not promoting Russian’s interests in the war in Ukraine.