Alex Ovechkin finally received the Wayne Gretzky game-used stick he’s always coveted.
Gretzky’s gift is one of several topics that is discussed during a wide-ranging #HockeyAtHome interview between The Great 8 and The Great One hosted by NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen. NBCSN will broadcast the interview on Monday, April 20, at 5 PM.
Gretzky sent Ovechkin the stick in the mail and video of Ovi unwrapping the stick was captured on video.
“Obviously, everyone know I am a huge stick collector and have almost a 100 sticks,” Ovechkin explained. “After a (2017) dinner, I asked Wayne, ‘Can you give me a game-used stick. I don’t know if you still have it or not.’ And he said, ‘Yeah. Win the Cup and I’ll give you the stick.’
“We won the Cup and I told [Caps PR guy] Sergey I need Wayne’s stick because he promised to me,” Ovechkin added. “Finally, I get the stick and I was happy like a little kid to have a Christmas gift. It’s in my collection.”
Gretzky signed the stick and added an inscription: To Alex, love watching you play.
Gretzky famously promised Ovechkin he would give him one publicly if he won the Stanley Cup during an interview with Graham Bensinger.
Ovi’s obsession with getting a Gretzky game-used stick has been well documented, as he has a collection of opposing players game-used sticks he started when he burst into the league in 2005. So far, his favorite stick is one from Mario Lemieux.
“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,” Ovechkin said. “You want to have something to remember it. It’s like history.”
In 2011, Gretzky sent Ovi a personalized-signed stick, but it wasn’t game used.
“When you hold this — I get at Medstar Iceplex our practice facility — all the guys see it,” Ovechkin told to Kathryn Tappen. “You realize how gear is changing right now. How our sticks are lighter than Wayne’s sticks when he played in the 90’s and 80’s. It’s unbelievable. If I’m going to use that stick, I’m probably not going to shoot as hard as I should right now.”
The comment broke Gretzky into laughter.
Headline photo courtesy of the NHL
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