Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin announces death of his father

The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin announced the death of his father Wednesday.

Ovechkin stepped away from the team earlier this week after saying he needed to attend to a family matter and the health of a loved one.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, Ovechkin confirmed his father's passing. "Today I lost my father," said his post written in Russian and translated to English. "I thank everyone for the support but please be understanding and do not disturb my family in this difficult time for us."

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals looks on during the GEICO NHL Hardest Shot event during the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition at FLA Live Arena on February 03, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

In is unclear how long he will be away from the team.

"When it comes to your family and parents, that's what matters," Coach Peter Laviolette said earlier this week. "He's going to deal with some things right now and we're going to be supportive."