When Alex Ovechkin takes the ice Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, he won’t be the only Washington Capitals player on the team wearing yellow skate laces.
Ilya Kovalchuk will don yellow too becoming the first Capitals player since Sergei Fedorov to wear the lace color along with Ovechkin in an NHL game.
The two players both rocked yellow during practice Tuesday morning.
Screenshot via @Capitals
While the yellow skate laces are synonymous with Ovechkin, he is not the first or only player to have worn them in the NHL. Kovalchuk was one of the original European and Russian players to wear yellow skate laces when he first debuted in the NHL in 2001 with the Atlanta Thrashers.
I took this is 2009, I can’t wait to maybe get one of them both with Caps jersey on. wow i still can’t believe My second favorite player is on my team!!! pic.twitter.com/1lnIbQHhI9
— MARGE 🏒 (@Margefro87) February 25, 2020
Other players who rocked yellow laces in the past include Slava Kozlov, Jaromir Jagr, Theo Fleury, Marc Savard, and Petr Nedved.
Kovalchuk initially stopped wearing yellow skate laces in the NHL after getting traded to the New Jersey Devils in 2009-10. He has continued to wear them internationally for Team Russia and SKA of the KHL.
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According to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, Kovalchuk was forbidden to wear them while playing for the Devils under Lou Lamoriello.
I hadn't remembered Kovalchuk wearing yellow laces, too, He reminded me he wasn't permitted to do it with the Devils (Lou Lamoriello rules). https://t.co/0dGdeJrWj4
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 25, 2020
Kovalchuk didn’t wear yellow with the Kings, but re-began the tradition when he was signed by the Montreal Canadiens on January 3. He will continue it in DC.
Ovechkin first began wearing yellow because he liked their look.
“His standard answer about them was always that he thought they looked cool,” former Caps PR rep Nate Ewell said to me years ago. “The yellow laces are also waxed, though, so some players like them because they stay in place better. I think that’s why Jagr wore them.”
Yellow laces originally came into the NHL because many European players grew up wearing skates made by Graf. The German company used yellow by default for most of its skates.
Headline photo: Miranda Rosenfelt/RMNB
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