Penguins center Evgeni Malkin appears to have joined Alex Ovechkin's "Putin Team" campaign to reelect Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Ovechkin announced the campaign on Nov. 2 in an Instagram post, and Malkin posted his own instagram with Putin along with a caption that reads "Putin Team."
"Personal achievements and medals - all of this great, but in hockey, like with everything, to win it's important to have a team," Ovechkin said of the campaign, as translated by the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan. "Only a team is capable of changing the course of a game, achieve the impossible. Lately, in the Western Press, I'm noticing a comparison to Putin's team. And you know, I really liked that comparison. Personally, I'm ready to be a member of that team. I never hid my relationship with our president, always openly supported him. I'm certain there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let's unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team. Be a part of this team - to me it's a privilege, it's like the feeling of when you put on the jersey of the Russian team, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you."
Putin's six-year term ends in March 2018. He is eligible to run again and is expected to win should he do so, but Putin has yet to officially confirm that he is seeking reelection.