July 16, 2010
When the world-renowned Russian club Dynamo Moscow was on the verge of collapse, Alex Ovechkin told TSN: "In Russia, they're probably the same as Montreal — it's a historic team, a great organization. I can't believe there's going to be no more Dynamo. It's too bad."
Ovechkin added: "What can I do? If I say don't do it, who is going to listen to me? It's a pretty hard situation for them, but I think they can find a way to rebuild and be good."
Dynamo Moscow as we knew it died merging with the 2010 KHL Gagarin Cup finalist HC MVD to create a new team: Unified Hockey Club Dynamo. And now this new hybrid has a new employee — an advisor to the president of the club Alex Ovechkin(notes).
Believe it or not, but from July 1 Alex Ovechkin is employed by UHC Dynamo and even gets paid for his services.
Mikhail Tyurkin, UHC Dynamo's president, told Sovetsky Sport, "Alex has already called me. He is now my official advisor. He is now employed by UHC Dynamo.
July 1 was the official date Ovechkin became a team employee. "Alex will work on promoting our club. And he will also work with children from our hockey school. He will hold a few master-classes. I think that famous people like Ovechkin should bring value not only to NHL teams, but to Russia as well, especially to the club that brought him up," Tyurkin said.
It is understood that Ovechkin has already made a few suggestions to the club in his official position.
"We discussed a number of issues regarding the KHL. I was interested in his opinion on certain nuances that we should take from the NHL. With me being a member of the board of directors of the KHL, we had a long discussion. We also agreed that he will run a few joint practices with our players. In addition, Alex offered to help out young Dynamo players as a sponsor. Right now we are discussing how to best approach this — to help out our youth hockey school with equipment."
And Ovechkin is not a volunteer at UHC Dynamo. He will earn a salary at the club, although it won't be anywhere near his NHL contract. His salary is quite nominal, according to Tyurkin.
"Because Alex is on our staff, he has to earn a salary. Although in order to earn it, it is enough for him just to say three words."
Ovechkin is really valued at UHC Dynamo. For a number of years NHL players, and Dynamo Moscow alumni like Ovechkin, Andrei Markov(notes), Maxim Afinogenov(notes), started their preseason workouts with Dynamo in the summer. It is expected they will do the same this year.