Ovechkin intent on playing at 2018 Winter Olympics, even without NHL agreement

David W Cerny / REUTERS

Alex Ovechkin loves playing for his country.

The Washington Capitals superstar has stated his intent to suit up for his native Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, even if the NHL doesn't reach an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation about player availability.

"The same situation was with the (2014) Sochi Games, they said NHL could not be allowed to come," Ovechkin said Wednesday, according to Russian news agency TASS. "I hope the sides will reach an agreement."

"Anyway, I and other players will definitely come (to the 2018 Olympics)," he added.

The NHL and IIHF reached a deal seven months prior to the Sochi Olympics.

Ovechkin has played at three Olympics in the past, failing to earn a medal. He has won several medals in other international tournaments, however, including a World Junior gold in 2003 and World Championship gold in 2008, 2012, and 2014.

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Ovechkin intent on playing at 2018 Winter Olympics, even without NHL agreement
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