For the next 10 days, 25 kids from two primary schools in Beijing will be in Washington DC. On Monday, the children ranging from 6 to 12-years-old got a chance to skate with the Capitals after the NHL team’s morning skate. The mites even got to take a team picture with the Caps, which of course I’m going to have break down.
First, there’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, who went to one knee and got down on the kids’ level. He helped hold a flag of the team’s sponsor.
There’s Alex Ovechkin cheesing big for the camera.
Here’s Andre Burakovsky, who appears to be wearing a helmet that is about five sizes too big for his head.
Finally, Mitch Korn has to get on his tippy tones to get the side of his face in the pic.
Immediately after the photo, the players hosted a clinic for the kids, which appeared to get pretty competitive.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 23, 2017
This particular trip is sponsored by the Chinese company O.R.G. Packaging. Last year, the company helped 22 children meet the Boston Bruins. Just like the Caps’ setup, the kids stayed in Massachusetts for a week-plus.
“Finding innovative ways to grow the game of hockey is always a priority of the Bruins organization,” Hockey Hall of Famer Cam Neely said. “The synergy between the Bruins and O.R.G. Packaging will positively impact the growth of the game in the local Chinese community while showcasing the passion for hockey that exists in Asia.”
Expanding the game of hockey to different markets is nothing new for the Caps. Earlier in the season, Peter Bondra flew to the United Arab Emirates to host a hockey school for players there. After meeting the super talented Fatima Al Ali, Bondra and the Capitals promised to fly her out to meet the team this February.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Capitals will host a press event announcing the team’s Hockey is For Everyone Month initiatives prior to their game versus the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 6:45 p.m. Ted Leonsis, founder, chairman, majority owner and chief executive officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Raul Fernandez, owner and vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and Zhou Yunjie, ORG Packaging chairman, will participate in the press event along with Beijing Primary School players, as well as local youth hockey players from the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, American Special Hockey Association and Kettler Capitals Iceplex programs.
ORG Packaging is a metal packaging product manufacturer based in Beijing, China, and serves at the Official Chinese Outreach Partner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and is a sponsor of the Capitals, Wizards, Mystics and Verizon Center.
Hockey is For Everyone Month is the National Hockey League’s official youth development program. The program offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey and leverages the sport of hockey as a catalyst to teach essential life skills and the core values of hockey: commitment, perseverance and teamwork.
Feb. 1 also marks the Capitals Chinese Cultural Night presented by ORG, featuring a ceremonial puck drop with chairman Yunjie. The game will be broadcast on CCTV in China and feature New Years greetings by Capitals players in honor of the Chinese New Year.
As part of their partnership, the Capitals and ORG are hosting 25 Chinese youth hockey players from two primary schools in Beijing from Jan. 23-Feb. 3.
Children ages six to 12 years old will participant in clinics with local youth hockey teams throughout the week, concluding with a scrimmage at Verizon Center on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 3 p.m.
Capitals coaches, players and alumni will participate in programming, including head coach Barry Trotz and alumni Peter Bondra, Alan May and Paul Mulvey. Capitals youth hockey director Dan Jablonic will lead on-ice instruction in conjunction with additional youth hockey coaches.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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