Mikhail Ovechkin, the father of Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, underwent surgery for a heart condition in Sochi earlier this week, Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee said Thursday.
Following Russia’s preliminary round game against Slovakia on Feb. 16, Mikhail Ovechkin, 62, experienced what McPhee described as “heart issues” that ultimately required surgery. He is now in stable condition, McPhee said.
“The good news is he’s in stable condition, he’s out of ICU,” McPhee told reporters at the Capitals’ practice facility.
McPhee said the timing of Ovechkin’s return to the United States was uncertain. “We’ve told him to stay as long as necessary with your dad,” he said.
The family kept the news quiet, choosing not to tell Ovechkin for three days, until after Russia had been eliminated from the Olympic tournament on Wednesday. Immediately after Russia lost 3-1 to Finland, Ovechkin was told about his father’s condition and immediately went to the hospital.
“I’m sure his parents didn’t want him distracted, but family means everything,” McPhee said. “So that’s where he stays until he’s ready to come back.”
McPhee said he does not know when the 28-year-old right wing will rejoin the Capitals nor does he have any expectations of Ovechkin being back when their NHL season resumes on Feb. 27. Ovechkin was originally scheduled to be on a charter flight back to Moscow Thursday, according to the Post’s Dave Sheinin and Natasha Abbakumova in Sochi, but skipped the flight to stay with his family.
At this point, McPhee simply expressed concern for Ovechkin as he handles this emotionally trying time.
“It’s certainly going to be a most difficult time in his life,” McPhee said. “The Olympics meant a great deal to him and his father’s sick, so this is not going to be easy for him. But when he comes back we expect he’ll give us everything he’s got as he always has.”