We have some absolutely mind boggling rumors coming out of Russia today.
Russian hockey report Slava Malamud is reporting that a source within the Kontinental Hockey League has informed him that no Russian National Hockey League player's will be able to go to the Olympics without the league's approval.Furthermore the source stated that this genuinely suggest that Russian NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin could go "the Kovalchuk route."
Of course this would mean that Ovechkin would "retire" from NHL hockey in order to participate in the Olympic Games, and it could even mean that he would miss a year in the NHL, potentially even playing in the KHL for a season.
While this is just a rumor at this stage, when the NHL announced that it would not participate in the Olympics in South Korea they deliberately omitted their stance on owner's giving individual player's permission, and furthermore ordered team's not to discuss the matter with those players. This is mere speculation, but such action from the NHL would seem to suggest that they may intend to block any player under NHL contract from attending the games.
It would truly be shocking if one of the unforeseen consequences of the NHL's decision proved to be Alex Ovechkin bolting for a rival league.