Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky will be upcoming guests on a #HockeyAtHome Interview Series produced by NBC. The NHL announced the news in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
According to the league, the interviews will be conducted remotely by award-winning broadcast personalities and celebrity hosts.
The interview comes during an intriguing time in hockey history. Ovechkin is currently trying to catch Gretzky’s all-time goals record of 894. Gretzky believes Ovechkin has a “legitimate chance” to catch him while Ovechkin doesn’t “believe it’s possible.”
Ovechkin scored his 700th career goal against the New Jersey Devils on February 22. Gretzky congratulated the Capitals captain in a pregame ceremony after Ovechkin became only the eighth player in NHL history to hit the milestone.
“Congratulations on joining the 700 Club,” Gretzky said. “You’ve had an outstanding career. You’ve scored 700 goals. You’ve won the Stanley Cup. And you’ve meant a lot to the game hockey – not only in Washington but throughout North America and Russia. I’ll be there saying the same thing when you get to 800. Good luck.”
Off the ice, the two hockey legends are also well-documented friends. Ovechkin, an avid hockey memorabilia collector, has requested a game-used stick from Gretzky. The Great One responded he’d give one to Ovi if he won the Stanley Cup, which he did in 2018. The two have still not made the exchange though.
Other Capitals content coming includes a Swedish language interview between Nicklas Backstrom and Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad recently had a five-goal game against the Capitals.
More from the NHL:
First of Weekly #HockeyAtHome Interview Series to Premiere Tuesday, April 7, on NBCSN and NHL Network
Weekly Video Conference Calls Featuring Players & Coaches Expands to European Markets
NEW YORK / TORONTO (April 7, 2020) – This week, the National Hockey League (NHL) will continue to keep fans connected with the game while practicing social distancing with a new slate of programming and original content featuring current and former NHL players, celebrities and award-winning broadcast personalities. Recorded remotely, these video features will be delivered to passionate hockey fans around the world via the League’s internal broadcast and digital platforms and through NHL national broadcast partners in the United States and Canada.
The highlight of the new line-up of original content is a reunion of current members of the defending 2019 Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues via video conference on Wednesday, April 8, the originally scheduled first day of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This will mark the first virtual coming together of a professional sports team since the suspension of play. Fans will able to view the reunion at 8 p.m. ET on NHL.com, the NHL’s social channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and on Sportsnet ONE in Canada. NBCSN will air the gathering on Monday, April 13, at 6 p.m. ET.
“We are really excited about this week at the NHL. Our players have been so interested in connecting with our fans and the lineup that we’ve put together is quite extraordinary,” said NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “From our virtual press conferences to our Classic Games programming to the incredible reunion of the St. Louis Blues, this week will be remarkable as we keep adding new content every week.”
#HockeyAtHome Interview Series
On Tuesday, April 7, the NHL will premiere #HockeyAtHome, a new series of interviews with current and former players, conducted remotely by award-winning broadcast personalities and celebrity hosts. The first episode will be co-hosted by NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen and Sportsnet’s David Amber and feature a series of interviews with NHL brothers currently playing in the NHL: Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks; Marc Staal of the New York Rangers, Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Eric Staal of the Minnesota Wild; and Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames and Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators. An upcoming episode will feature an interview with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.
#HockeyAtHome will air on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as part of NBC Sports’ Hockey Happy Hour programming, with a simulcast on the NHL’s social channels on Facebook, IGTV and YouTube; and at 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network. Sportsnet will air episode one on Friday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. ET. #HockeyAtHome is produced and distributed by NHL Original Productions.
NHL Video Conference Calls
Following the successful launch of a series of video conference calls featuring players from each of the four NHL divisions, the NHL will continue to deliver weekly video conferences calls featuring players and coaches. On Monday, April 6, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patrick Marleau virtually reconnected with former teammates Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
On Wednesday, April 8, at 1:00 p.m. ET, NHL Central Scouting will release the final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft, followed by a video conference call with top prospects and members of NHL Central Scouting, including Dan Marr, Director; David Gregory, Senior Manager; and J-F Damphousse, Regional Scout for Quebec and the Maritimes.
On Friday, April 10, the NHL will bring together NHL head coaches Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues, Rod Brind’Amour of Carolina Hurricanes and Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes to discuss their playing and coaching careers and how they’re coping with the pause in the season.
As part of the League’s ongoing efforts to engage fans worldwide, the NHL will extend its successful virtual press conference concept overseas with twice-weekly video calls featuring players from Quebec, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland speaking in their native languages with media from around the world. On Thursday, April 9 at 11 a.m. ET, Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom and New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad will take part in a video conference call with Swedish media. Additional players may be added to the call.
Classic Games Re-watch Specials
Starting Thursday, April 9, the NHL will re-air classic NHL games with a personal touch – commentary from members of the participating teams. First up is a re-watch of Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. The special re-watch will air Thursday on NBCSN, during NBC Sports’ 5-7 p.m. ET Hockey Happy Hour programming.
As the NHL community continues to practice social distancing and take all necessary precautions during this challenging time, the League will continue to help fans stay connected to players and the game by providing access to unique content and archived games. NHL Pause Binge aggregates NHL video, editorial and digital content available on NHL.com, the NHL app and across the NHL’s social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Fans who visit NHL.com and the League’s official YouTube channel will find a curated collection of NHL Original Productions content, including critically-acclaimed, behind-the-scenes programs “Road to the NHL Winter Classic,” “Behind The Glass” and “NHL All Access”; full-length classic NHL games dating from the 1950s to present day; 2019-20 season snapshots featuring memorable moments for each of the League’s 31 teams; profiles on top rookies and draft prospects; a look back at top Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final moments; and free access to stream full replays of games from the 2019-20 regular season accessible via the scores and schedule pages of NHL.com and the NHL app and in Canada via NHL LIVE.
NHL Programming Schedule for April 7-10 (all times are ET and subject to change):
Tuesday, April 7
3 p.m. – Live Q&A with Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho (@NHLEurope on Instagram)
6:30 p.m. – #HockeyAtHome interview series (NBCSN; @NHL on Facebook, IGTV and YouTube)
7 p.m. – #HockeyAtHome interview series (NHL Network)
Wednesday, April 8
1 p.m. – Video conference call with 2020 NHL Draft top prospects and members of NHL Central Scouting – Dan Marr, Director; David Gregory, Senior Manager; and J-F Damphousse, Regional Scout for Quebec and the Maritimes
3 p.m. – Live Q&A with Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisatl (@NHLEurope on Instagram)
8 p.m. – Virtual Reunion of the 2019-20 St. Louis Blues* (NHL.com, @NHL on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook, Sportsnet ONE)
Thursday, April 9
11 a.m. – International media video conference call with Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom & New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad*
3 p.m. – Live Q&A with Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner (@NHL on Twitter; #AskJeff)
Classic Games Re-watch: Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings & New York Rangers (NBCSN)
Friday, April 10
1 p.m. – Media video conference call with NHL head coaches Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues, Rod Brind’Amour of Carolina Hurricanes and Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes*
6:30 p.m. – #HockeyAtHome interview series (SN)
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