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NHL Slam legend and Hall of Famer goalkeeper Dominic Hasek Washington Capitals Striker Alex Ovechkin on Saturday for his comments regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called on the League to suspend the contracts of all Russian players.
Hasek, a six-time winner of the Vezina Cup, took to Twitter to blow up Ovechkin, calling him an “alibist” and a “liar” after telling the media on Friday that he was calling for an end to the dispute.
“What!? Not only an excuse, a chicken, but also a liar! Every adult in Europe knows very well that Putin is a crazy murderer and that Russia is waging an offensive war against the free state and its people,” Hick He said. “The NHL must immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players!”
He continued, “Each athlete represents not only himself and his club, but also his country, its values and actions. This is a fact. If the NHL does not, he bears an indirect joint responsibility for the dead in Ukraine.”
Hask admitted that while not every Russian athlete supports Putin, suspending all contracts is a “necessity”.
“I also want to write, that I am very sorry for those Russian athletes, who condemn Putin and his Russian aggression against Ukraine. However, for the time being, I consider their exclusion a necessity.”
Ovechkin, who was previously unavailable to reporters before Thursday’s match against New York RangersOn Friday, he told reporters he hoped the conflict in Ukraine “will soon be over.”
“Please, no more war. It doesn’t matter who’s at war – Russia, Ukraine, different countries – I think we live in a world, like, we have to live in peace and a great world.”
When asked by reporters if he supports Putin amid Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Ovechkin – a known supporter of Putin – apparently avoided criticizing Putin while repeating his call for peace.
“Well, he’s my boss. But how did you say, I’m not in politics. I’m an athlete and you know, how did I say, I hope everything will be done soon,” he said. “It’s (a) a difficult situation at the moment for both sides and everything. I hope it’s all over. I’m not in control of this situation.”
Other athletes and sports governing bodies have called for a boycott of the events in Russia since the attacks began on Thursday. On Saturday, Poland and Sweden announced their refusal to participate in the World Cup qualifiers against Russia.