Alexander Ovechkin needs to do two things: resign from PutinTeam and win a Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin is one of hockey’s greatest goal scorers, but in 13 NHL seasons with the Washington Capitals he’s never won a championship. He’s never won an Olympic gold medal either, so there are always questions about his greatness.
Yet when he announced the formation of PutinTeam last year to support Russia’s president, it’s the biggest smirch on his career. The mysterious deaths of numerous opponents of Vladimir Putin’s would make most P.R. professionals steer their clients away from associating with the dictator.
Ending that relationship is easier than Ovechkin’s hockey quest. Lately, the Capitals have been following a tremendous regular season with an early exit from the NHL playoffs. Washington’s outspoken, talented, charismatic and — usually — community-minded captain is again taking heat for his team being down 2-0 in its series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fair criticism… on both subjects.