A Russian hockey club is asking the Washington Capitals to pay it $2 million for the rights to Alexander Ovechkin, the 18-year-old sensation who was the Capitals' and the NHL's No. 1 overall pick in last month's draft.

The rights to Ovechkin are owned by Dynamo Moscow, which is demanding the payment in return for Ovechkin, who has another year left on his Dynamo contract. He has said he wants to play in the NHL next season, and the Moscow club has said it will not stand in his way, according to a Reuters report.

An agreement between the International Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL on fees for player transfers has expired, and the Capitals and Dynamo must agree on terms before Ovechkin can play in Washington. Reuters has reported that Dynamo President Anatoly Kharchyuk told the Russian daily Sovietsky Sport that he thinks Ovechkin is worth $2 million.

Ovechkin is expected to train this summer in Russia, the Washington Times reported yesterday, probably missing the Capitals' rookie camp that begins July 19. The team has said it will not negotiate with Ovechkin until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached between players and the league.

Also, the Capitals re-signed defenseman Josef Boumedienne and center Trent Whitfield to one-year contracts yesterday.

-- Thomas Heath