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Alexander Ovechkin on being a Russian playing in D.C.: ‘I’m neutral’

Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin credits remaining in the middle of the road politically speaking for the ability to navigate playing in the nation’s capital while being a native-born Russian, especially in light of the currently contentious political climate.

The relationship between the United States and Russia are dropping to Cold War levels given the recent hacking scandal and the upcoming inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.

But for Ovechkin? It’s easy to balance his Russian roots and playing in the U.S.

“I have a good relationship with Russians, and with Americans. So I’m neutral,” Ovechkin said on CNN’s World Sport show.

Ovechkin, however, hasn’t yet been able to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup during his Hall of Fame-caliber career. And if and when he does? He’ll make sure to celebrate the momentous achievement both in D.C. and his homeland.

“Anyone who plays in the NHL dreams to win the Stanley Cup,” he said, “and I dreamed as well to be one of them and raise the cup in Washington and bring it home to Moscow and celebrate with my friends and my parents.”

While Ovechkin is trying to remain low-key in a highly charged political atmosphere off the ice, he continues to dazzle with his play on it. Ovechkin last week notched his 1,000th career point in only his 880th game.

“It’s a great moment for me, and it was important to reach that kind of milestone,” he said.

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