I learned today that Alex Ovechkin is back in Russia to be with his ailing grandfather. As you can imagine, I'm deeply concerned about the serious situation that underlies Alex's sudden return home. I think Bruce Boudreau spoke eloquently when he said:
“He had to go and he wanted to be near him, but if you know Alex, he doesn’t want to leave his teammates, So that’s always a struggle, but in the end, he knows what he needs to do—and that’s family first.”
I couldn't agree more.
Sadly, this type of situation occupies needless hours of sportstalk radio, whether the athlete misses games due to childbirth, unwell relatives, or even family crisis. Without fail, this leads to hand-wringing amongst fans about where priorities should be aligned, but to me, this one is a no brainer. Consider the fact that the man Alex is going back to be with has propagated some of the most absurdly talented genes ever to have been passed along to the next two generations of descendants.
Of course he made the right decision.
Consider what part of the season it is, and how few games are on the docket over the next couple of weeks. Not to mention that close family like that is just intrinsically more valuable than the sometimes myopically over-exaggerated bond that pro teams form during a competitive season. When it all boils down, we're all accountable to our own flesh and blood more-so than the ones we've chosen to bleed for.
I wish the best for your family Alex, and I will cheer as loud as I can when you return.