Ever since Alex Ovechkin first entered the NHL in 2005, he’s collected sticks from hockey players he’s admired. And for good reason! Ovechkin has two quasi-museums full of hockey collectibles: one in his Northern Virginia home and the other in his Moscow dacha.
But there’s one piece of memorabilia Ovechkin doesn’t have, and it’s driving him crazy: a game-used stick from Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky is widely considered the greatest hockey player of all-time.
Ovechkin first talked about his Gretzky stick obsession in an interview in 2017.
Outside of hockey, what would you say is your biggest hobby?
Alex Ovechkin: “I like collecting sticks from different players. You play against the great players, and when you are growing up, you play against a person like [Jarome] Iginla, Owen Nolan, Mario Lemieux, [Dominik] Hasek, [Martin] Brodeur….You want to have something to remember it. It’s like history. It’s going to be a memory for my kids and my grandkids. It’s pretty fun.”
Which are your favorite sticks you have gotten from other players?
Alex Ovechkin: “Probably Lemieux. I am still waiting for the Wayne Gretzky stick that he promised me last year. At a dinner, he said he would give me a stick. But he never sent it to me. Wayne, please send me a stick!”
The dinner Ovechkin is referring to is a swanky double date from March 2016. While the Caps were on their annual west coast swing, Wayne and Janet Gretzky had dinner with the Ovechkins in Malibu.
Way back in 2011, Gretzky sent Ovechkin a personalized signed stick, but it was not game-used, therefore Ovi was not impressed.
Well, if things go well in the Stanley Cup Final, Ovechkin may finally get that twig he’s always dreamed about.
Friday afternoon, Graham Bensinger from In Depth with Graham Bensinger released a video featuring a back-and-forth between Ovechkin and Gretzky. Ovechkin, in a pre-recorded video, does some more begging.
“Hey, Wayne. It’s Alex Ovechkin,” said Alex Ovechkin. “You promise me game-used stick. So… I didn’t see it.”
“You can’t get my game-used stick until you get your name on the Stanley Cup,” Gretzky said laughing.
This might explain Ovechkin’s sheer terror during the tail end of Game Two. There’s a priceless piece of memorabilia on the line, people! (And oh yeah, the Stanley Cup.)
The Capitals and Golden Knights are tied 1-1 in the Stanley Cup Final. Games Three and Four are at Capital One Arena this weekend.
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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