Updates on Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Fisher and more.

THE ECONOMIST: A commentary on Alexander Ovechkin’s opinions on his country’s role in the Ukraine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals fan Peter Hassett penned a recent blog regarding Ovechkin’s comments which is well worth reading. I daresay a number of Ovechkin’s fans, especially those of us in North America, share Hassett’s opinon. 

OTTAWA SUN: A report from a Russian paper claims KHL president Alexander Medvedev hints at “pleasant surprises” in a year regarding a possible return of Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin to the KHL.

Could Pavel Datsyuk and other Russian NHL stars bolt to the KHL next year?

Could Pavel Datsyuk and other Russian NHL stars bolt to the KHL next year?

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Ovechkin and Malkin will return one day to the KHL, but it won’t happen within a year. Ever since the KHL came into existence there’s been speculation the top Russian NHL players will return home. Apart for Ilya Kovalchuk, that hasn’t happened, and  Kovalchuk’s proved the exception, not the rule. The best players in the world want to play in the best league. That’s not the KHL, which has largely become a league for aging veterans past their prime or younger players lacking the skills to cut it in the NHL. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk won’t rule out playing in the KHL one day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps when his current contract expires in 2017 Datsyuk will return to the KHL. 

NBC SPORTS: Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo intends to split his club’s first three preseason games among his three goaltenders.

CBS SPORTS: Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher and his wife Carrie Underwood are expecting their first child.

TORONTO SUN: Several Toronto-based hockey fans penned letters to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to plead for a second franchise in their city.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t get your hopes up. While Toronto can certainly sustain a second NHL franchise, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment would do everything possible to prevent that from happening.