Sergei Gonchar

At home in Russia, Alex Ovechkin brings out both love and resentment

At home in Russia, Alex Ovechkin brings out both love and resentment

In August 1997, a trio of Russian hockey stars — Igor Larionov, Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vyacheslav Kozlov — brought the Stanley Cup to Red Square, where they hoisted it above their heads to celebrate the NHL title won by their team, the Detroit Red Wings.

They posed near St. Basil's Cathedral and even took the silver prize to be photographed in front of the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin. The Stanley Cup has made the journey to the Russian capital at least three more times since — including as recently as last year, when Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins brought it to Moscow's hockey museum.

Now all eyes are on Russian Alex Ovechkin, the captain of the Washington Capitals...

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