Evgeny Kuznetsov is known as the birdman, but a different member of the avian species was present at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday.
Capitals fan John Hawes brought his 16-year-old parrot Cally to practice. The Manassas, VA resident, who has five other birds (shoutout to TC Feathers Aviary), waited outside of the rink so that Cally could meet Kuznetsov, her favorite hockey player.
Cally didn’t meet Kuzy but she did get one hell of a consolation prize: a perch on future Hockey Hall of Famer, Alex Ovechkin.
Here’s what happened according to RMNB reader Miranda, who was there watching it all go down. After Ovi was done with his business at MedStar, he walked out of the facility, making a beeline to his car. He was halfway there when he heard Hawes call out to him. “Hey, Ovi, we’ve got a big fan over here.” Cally the parrot then added a perfectly-timed squawk.
The noise stopped Ovechkin in his tracks. He turned around, looked at the bird, fully absorbed what was going on, and began laughing with his trademark smile. He walked back wide-eyed, looking at the parrot like he was a kid at a petting zoo for the first time.
“It’s okay? I can touch it?” Ovechkin said.
“Yeah of course,” Hawes replied. “Now Kuzy is her favorite, but you’re a close second.”
Ovechkin then held his arm out and the parrot ambled onto his forearm.
The Great 8 smiled for photos.
He petted Cally.
Then he tried talking to her in Russian.
Cally didn’t answer back. Apparently, the bird is not bilingual.
“She don’t speak,” Ovechkin said. Eventually, he gave the bird back, said his thank you’s, and drove home.
Ovechkin wasn’t the only Capitals player Cally met this day.
Stanley Cup hero Lars Eller held Cally, his interest piqued as soon as he walked out of the facility’s double doors. Eller posed for photos.
So did Liam O’Brien.
Meanwhile, Jakub Vrana was not as open-minded.
The young star saw the bird and fear filled his eyes. “OHHHH SH*T!” he said.
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