During Alex Ovechkin’s rookie year in the NHL, he lived with former general manager George McPhee and his family. Living with the McPhees helped Ovechkin ease into a new culture and the NHL lifestyle, but it also helped shape McPhee’s son, Graham.
Graham, who was 7 at the time, would play video games and hockey in the basement with Ovechkin. The Russian machine’s presence also helped Graham understand what it meant to be a professional hockey player, more than his general manager dad ever could. Graham, now a sophomore at Boston College, was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers during the 2016 draft after spending years honing his craft at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Even though Graham was young when he first met Ovechkin, they two have kept in touch throughout the years even after McPhee left the Capitals. Today, on Ovechkin’s first visit to Las Vegas, the two took a photo together before the game.
A post shared by Graham Mcphee (@insta_grahammcphee) on
“Wow, time flies!!! Great seeing my childhood role model and hero tonight,” Graham wrote in his caption. “Can’t believe it’s been 12 years!”
After the game ended, Ovechkin commented on Graham’s post.
“Nice old pic))),” Ovechkin wrote. “Hope see u soon in nhl!!!good luck👍”
Graham shared a handful of photos from his childhood, including one where he received a wedgie during the Winter Classic 2010 family skate. Written in an RMNB article in 2010, Graham received a wedgie he’d remembered for the rest of his life. I guess we were right.
Graham also posted a photo of Ovechkin playing goalie during a mini-hockey session in the McPhee’s basement.
“We would play hockey in the basement and he was always the goalie,” Graham McPhee said to USA Hockey’s Becky Olsen. “He would let me shoot 10 pucks and told me if I scored on five of the 10, he would get me the new NHL video game.
“I think he stopped them all, and I was really upset. I cried and went up to my room. The next day, he came home with the video game for me.”
Graham went the sentimental route for his Instagram, but was quickly called out by Boston University goaltender Jake Oettinger for using Ovechkin for likes.
Graham stayed to watch his childhood role model and hero from behind the VGK bench.
Headline Photos: @insta_grahammcphee
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.