Hockey equipment giant CCM to stop using Alex Ovechkin, other Russian players in global marketing

Hockey equipment giant CCM to stop using Alex Ovechkin, other Russian players in global marketing

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The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to impact the sports community this week, with one of hockey’s leading equipment suppliers announcing that it will no longer be using Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin or other Russian hockey players in its global marketing campaigns. 

CCM chief executive Marrouane Nabih, who expressed his sympathies for the situation in Ukraine, told TSN on Monday that while Ovechkin himself is "not responsible" for Russia’s attacks, the company has decided not to include him or other Russian players to promote its products for the time being. 

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Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals skates on the ice in the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena on Feb. 28, 2022 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We are very sad to witness, like the rest of the world, what is happening in Ukraine," Nabih told the outlet. "Although Mr. Ovechkin is not responsible for the Russian government’s actions, we took the decision to not use him (or any Russian player) on any global CCM communication at this point."

A source told the outlet that CCM pays Ovechkin more than $500,000 a year in addition to a percentage of Russian-based sales. The source added that it was unlikely that CCM would end its contracts with those players. 

A close-up view of the CCM Jetspeed FT4 Pro skates. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"You don’t want to end up in court with them suing you for breach of contract," the source told TSN. "Better to just pay them out, lie low, and see where the world goes over the next year."

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Other Russian players with CCM include Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin and Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov.

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals takes a breather on the boards during a timeout against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Feb. 17, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Ovechkin, who is a known supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters Friday that he hopes the conflict in Ukraine will "end soon" but seemingly avoided distancing himself from Putin.

"Well, he is my president. But how I said, I am not in politics. I am an athlete and you know, how I said, I hope everything is going to be done soon," he said. "It's (a) hard situation right now for both sides and everything. Everything I hope is going to end. I'm not in control of this situation."

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