OVECHKIN: Channeling Sean Penn?


Let it be said rather plainly. I think Alexander Ovechkin is the best NHL player bar none right now.

But, his behavior from dodging the sports press in Vancouver, to pushing a fan…has been poor sportsmanship no matter what pressure, excuse or Milbury-insult launched from a host’s seat.

Well, sadly it has continued as per a RIA Novosti correspondent who taped Ovechkin until he finally came up to the camera guy and added another situation to his personal Vancouver resume.

Per the story:

When Evgeny Fatkin asked Ovechkin for an interview, the hockey star answered by saying “Do you want me to break your camera?”

He did not wait for an answer and broke the camera display.

“I was holding the camera in my right hand,” Fatkin said. “When Ovechkin approached, I put it [my arm] down, and he broke the digital display with his right hand,” he said.

Following the incident, Ovechkin reportedly smiled, left the bar and disappeared.

There has been criticism from this season that Ovechkin has been reckless in his play, even causing Washington owner Ted Leonsis to take him aside to ask him about it. But many have come to his aid and side that he is “just having fun”. However, if you tie all these things together this season….under the white hot light of the Olympics and a season of some questions, might that image be cracking just a bit? Is something up with Ovechkin beyond just the loss, or just now being reckless now with his own image and how he handles paparazzi and fans?

There might be more to all of this, or maybe not. But for a guy who is a vibrant personality and marketed face to a game, something is crumbling a bit.

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Filed Under: FeaturedNHLOlympicsWashington Capitals


About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.

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  1. Chris M says:

    Looks like the guy spent the night filming him. At some point, you cross a line. I hope it’s not a case of Ovechkin becoming a poor sport. I love the guy — think he is the best player in the sport. I’d rather watch him then Sid-dive Crosby any day of the week.

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  3. ScottyWazz says:

    You have to wonder how much of that is Ovie and how much of that is the Federation pretty much holding the team’s personality down. It DOES NOT excuse what he did, but after the first night when you saw Semin take a golf-cart for a joyride and Varlamov talk about the village; the whole team seemed to be muzzled and their persona was taken from them.
    Ovie really should be kept in check, especially now that he’s going to be hearing about Crosby winning Gold after beating him in the Quarters. This will either be fuel for his fire or the thing that starts his breakdown.

  4. This has been a long time in the making, so I am not at all shocked to see an overpaid and over-privileged NHL star’s bad behavior displayed in Vancouver. Ovechkin’s antics on ice before, during and after he scores are tolerated because he is such a good player, but those of us who do not throw roses at his feet don’t view his behavior as anything but infantile and tedious. It is possible to enjoy scoring goals without acting like a 6 y/o, but you’d never know that watching Ovechkin. Don’t be surprised if his bad behavior starts mimicking Roy Emery…a goalie currently playing for the Flyers, but whose former team -the Ottawa Sens- are paying him to stay the f*ck OUT of Canada and not embarrass the franchise any further.

    • Kevin G says:

      Gimme a break.  How many players do we see jumping into the glass after scoring goals now?  A lot more these days.  And just a few weeks ago Don Cherry went on the air applauding how Matt Duchesne celebrates when he scores.  But Ovie can’t celebrate?  The bias against Ovechkin, who is not Canadian, is all to obvious.

  5. Caps Fan says:

    Some of us here in DC even agree with you. It’s tolerated b/c he is paid a lot of money.  Maybe he could take some pointers from his friend Sasha Semin and just walk away.  These guys know that they are going to be filmed, approached, pictures taken, etc. if they don’t like it get out of professional sports.  It’s like actors and actresses that complain about getting their pictures taken when they are out.  If they are talking about their kids I can understand, but they don’t mind getting paid millions of dollars by their fans for something, but don’t want you taking their random pictures.  Can’t have it both way folks.  Ovie does need to get over himself, he’s supposed to be the Captain.  This is not leadership material if you ask me.

    • BH82 says:

      Oh, please. In all of his time here, Ovechkin has been nothing but gracious and overly generous with the fans and media. He poses for pictures and signs autographs when approached in public, gives lengthy interviews to both the English-speaking and Russian-speaking media on a regular basis and takes time out of his busy schedule to promote the NHL and work with charitable organizations. Want proof of his leadership? After participating in the Closing Ceremonies and taking a 10-hour flight that got him into DC at 9:00 this morning, Ovechkin was on the ice with his teammates for practice – a practice his coach said he could skip – and then took time out to talk to reporters afterward.
      This video, like the other one, is so overblown and ridiculous it’s barely worth watching. I’ve never seen such disgusting attempts to corner him and make him appear in a negative light; I’ve also never seen that kind of behavior with any other captains in the NHL. What’s troubling is now any yahoo with a video camera is going to go after him and try to goad some sort of response out of him – and for what, so we can point at him and say “he’s a bad leader, shame shame”? So blogs can get 15 minutes of fame and a few extra site visits?
      Yes, athletes get paid millions to deal with the press and fans, but there have to be boundaries and a mutual respect – they’re not signing away any rights to privacy or personal space just because they make more money than you and I. Ovie brings 100% effort to nearly every shift he takes on the ice and is beloved by his teammates off it. That to me is all that matters and the only thing any of us should be concerned with.

  6. zorba says:

    I’m not a big Ovechkin fan and think he can be boorish at times.  he’s not really the kind of player I root for,e ven though his talent is unlike anyone’s I have seen.  However, the video looks to me like Ovechkin was being filmed all night but this guy until he just got tired of it.  Can’t say I really blame him this time, it was probably just a situation of enough is enough.

  7. STG228 says:

    His talent is there yes, but us being over-shadowed by his antics on and off the ice, including leaving his skates when hitting people, leading with knees, etc. Also, how many other pro athletes have this same pressure or more and can act like normal human beings and sign autographs for hours on end.  Grow Up  Ovie.

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  9. Rick says:

    I dont buy it! I work in television, and in my experience  seeing how that camera shut off “broke” seemed more to be effects in post editing than for a real power issue. The static sound with the snow, then the camera telescoping to black on the screen seems way to much like an effect. If that camera was to break like that it would just go full screen to black and then die, maybe some wacked out green electrical static or picture blur but not that.  Its not the end of looney tunes where it scopes down like that.  Fitting how the camera is turned away from Ovechkin when the questions are asked and we never see Ovechkin touch anything.  Then all of a sudden in another room at another time there is a second camera that seems to record a broken LCD screen. The rest of the camera looked fine. A broken LCD screen will not stop the tape from rolling. Notice in Ovies first incident with the Russian girl, the tape never stopped rolling.  That one was real, this one FAKE!

  10. Jiri says:

    Seems like there’s a lot of Caps fans stepping up in AO’s defense. However, his act should not be tolerated. One time is an accident, second time is a pattern. And leave it to a Caps fan to turn this into a Sid vs AO post? Can we have an article once without this going on? As an impartial reader, I have to say enough is enough.
    Now about this incident…If I do this same thing, I’m gonna probably be sitting in front of a judge explaining myself. Because he’s Ovechkin doesn’t mean he gets the white card to push, punch or whatever. Here is what I’m getting from this: whatever Ovechkin wants, Ovechkin gets, and nobody can tell him otherwise. Ovechkin told his coach he wanted to take the shootout in the olympics, so the coach put him in over and over and over. I think what has happened is that fat Uncle Teddy and Coach Boohoodeau have let the leash out too far and now they can’t reel him back in. One day, he’s gonna hurt somebody (or god forbid, maybe even himself) and it’s gonna be because nobody had the sack to tell him ‘no’.

  11. Rick says:

    Except not one of these camera incidents happened with the Washington Capitals. Should I blame your company for your personal errors? Also OV was talked to by the Washington staff after the last hit that got him suspended. It also seems there has not been another on ice issue since that discussion.  To relate what OV does under Russian management and blame the Caps sounds like someone is searching for a deeper cause than is there.

  12. tj says:

    It starts with Ovechkin looking directly at the camera of RIA Novosti Eugene Fatkin, shaking his head from side to side and saying “Don’t shoot” (“Не снимай”). The guy ignores him and continues to shoot. Ovi comes to him and says “Why are you shooting [I asked you not to]” (“Ты че снимаешь?”) and Fatkin asks him to record the interview.

    I think Fatkin deserved it. No respect for privacy. He was asked not to shoot. If someone would do it to you, and you don’t want to be filmed, what would you do? Personally I would punch that guy in the face and break his camera, would you? 

    I also agree with the reader who left the link to the video:

    It is very clear Ovi doesn’t want to be filmed. If this guy wanted an interview then why is he being a total creep stalker about it???? He is just lurking and stalking Ovi.

    I think Ovi should sue RIA Novosti, not them suing him. That’s not the way how major Russian News agency should conduct the interviews.

  13. Rob DeVaun says:

    I’m not really an Ovie fan, but I’ll stand up for him on this one. People are blowing this out of proportion. I think that as a whole he does a great job with the media.

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