White House face-off? NHL star Ovechkin wants to ask Trump ‘when Russia relations will improve’

White House face-off? NHL star Ovechkin wants to ask Trump ‘when Russia relations will improve’
Russian NHL star Alexander Ovechkin has said he would be open to a White House visit and would use the opportunity to ask US President Donald Trump “when the relationship with Russia will improve.”

Washington Capitals star Ovechkin helped the team to a first-ever Stanley Cup title last season, and is one of the biggest names in the sport.

After the Capitals’ Stanley Cup win over the Vegas Golden Knights back in June, Trump hailed the Russian, 33, as a “true superstar.”   

READ MORE: Trump congratulates 'superstar' Ovechkin for making 'D.C. poppin' with Caps success

But despite the success of the hometown team, the White House has yet to arrange a customary visit by the champions to meet President Trump, reportedly putting the issue down to scheduling problems.

Ovechkin has said that he would take up any invitation to visit the White House, and would even ask Trump about the troubled current relations between his Russian motherland and the country he plies his trade in.

“Of course I’ll go there [if invited]. It's not every day you get to go to the White House. I would chat for a while, take a photo with the president and ask when the relationship with Russia is going to improve,” Ovechkin said with a smile, while speaking in Russian to Sport Express.

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When asked whether he could make a difference to strained ties as “the most popular Russian in Washington,” Ovechkin replied: “I'm away from politics. Politics is a separate topic.

“For me the most important is peace in the world and health for all the people,” he added.

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Ovechkin has continued to reach new NHL milestones this season, surpassing the great Sergei Fedorov as the league’s top-scoring Russian player ever when the Capitals number 8 picked up his 1,180th point against the Vancouver Canucks earlier in February.

But while he claimed to be "away from politics," Ovechkin is a known supporter of President Putin.

The hockey star was a prominent part of the 'Team Putin' movement that backed the Russian leader for reelection as president last year.  

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Trump reportedly gave Putin an Ovechkin Capitals jersey when the pair met at a summit in Helsinki in July. 

READ MORE: Trump presents Putin with Ovechkin Capitals jersey at Helsinki summit