The Washington Capitals announced this morning that Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky will play each other in NHL20 to raise money for the Edmonton Food Bank and MSE Foundation’s “Feeding the Frontlines.”
The best-of-three tournament will be held on Wednesday, April 22, at 8 PM and will be aired on the Capitals’ Twitch channel. Fans will be able to listen to the two NHL legends’ conversation as they play each other.
“There’s been so much talk about the goal record, so there’s a nice link between Alex and myself,” Gretzky said in a phone interview with The Washington Post’s Scott Allen. “I thought we could do something that people could watch and help raise money for those who need it.”
According to Allen, Gretzky came up with the idea after seeing Ovechkin playing videogames with his son.
“We always stay in touch,” Ovechkin added. “It doesn’t matter if there’s a milestone coming up, he’s always reaching out to me and saying congrats. Before my 700th goal, I was a little down and he texted me and said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it will come.’ It’s nice of him. He’s a great person, and to have a relationship like that with The Great One, it means a lot to me.”
Ovechkin is currently chasing Gretzky for the all-time goals record. Ovechkin, who was tied with David Pastrnak for the NHL lead in goals (48) when the season was suspended, recently scored his 700th NHL goal and had 706 total, sitting 188 behind Gretzky’s 894.
Gretzky recently offered his congratulations during the Capitals’ 700 goals ceremony for Ovechkin, garnering a massive pop from the Capital One Arena crowd.
“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.”
Read more from the Capitals:
NHL Legend Wayne Gretzky and Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin To Go Head-to-Head in The Great One vs. The Great Eight Showcase in NHL20 on Capitals Twitch Channel April 22
Proceeds raised during showcase to benefit Edmonton Food Bank and MSE Foundation’s “Feeding the Frontlines” in support of COVID-19 relief
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and NHL Legend Wayne Gretzky will go head-to-head in The Great One vs. The Great Eight Showcase and compete in NHL 20 on the Capitals Twitch Channel (Twitch.com/Capitals) on Wednesday, April 22, at 8 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to watch and listen to Ovechkin and Gretzky as they face off on XBox in a best-of-three format presented by Pest Management Services Incorporated (PMSI) and TekSynap to determine the winner.
Fans will have an opportunity to make a charitable contribution during the Twitch livestream to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank and MSE Foundation’s “Feeding the Frontlines” fund, which provides meals to heroes in the medical community. Click here to make a donation.
Gretzky currently serves as the Alternate Governor for the Edmonton Oilers. Upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, Gretzky held or shared 61 National Hockey League records, including the all-time mark for goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857), which still stand today. He is the only player in NHL history to record 200 or more points in an NHL season, reaching the mark four times (1981-82, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86), and his 31 individual Trophies make him the most decorated player in NHL history. Following his retirement in 1999, Gretzky became the 10th and final player to be immediately ushered into the Hall of Fame, and the first in history to have his jersey number retired league-wide.
Ovechkin, who is in his 15th season in the NHL, currently ranks eighth in the NHL with 706 career goals. Ovechkin became the second fastest player in NHL history to reach the 700th goal milestone, reaching the mark on Feb. 22 in New Jersey in his 1,144th career game. Ovechkin is the only player in NHL history to lead the League in scoring and win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy eight times – no other player in NHL history has received the trophy more than twice. In 2018, Ovechkin became the first Russian-born captain to win the Stanley Cup, and he is the only player in NHL history to receive the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, the Calder Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award and the Conn Smythe Trophy.
The competition between Ovechkin and Gretzky marks the Capitals’ latest esports initiative. Monumental Sports & Entertainment launched Caps Gaming presented by Leidos – an esports sub-brand that aims to help foster the growth of the NHL competitive gaming community and create visibility for hockey’s esports scene – in November 2019. Upon launching, the team also signed top NHL esports pro John “JohnWayne” Casagranda as the first NHL esports pro to be officially signed by an NHL organization. Caps Gaming hosted the premier Caps Gaming Showcase – a 82-team, 6v6 EA Sports NHL competition on Xbox One in December 2019, followed by the Caps Gaming Showcase Finals in February 2020. In January, “JohnWayne” and Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov competed in NHL20, with Kuznetsov playing from MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., and “JohnWayne” competing from his home in Anchorage, Ak.
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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