Alex Ovechkin has been playing hockey in South Florida with a group of former and current NHL players. One of the veterans in the group, former Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis, gave Ovechkin a special gift on Tuesday.
Kasparaitis presented Ovechkin with the stick as well as the puck he used to score his Game 7 overtime goal against the Buffalo Sabres on May 10, 2001.
“Do all hockey fans remember the goal @dkasparaitis scored in the 7th game against @buffalosabres?” Ovechkin asked. “So this stick is now in my collection, and after that it will be in my museum! Thank you very much for such a gift! 👍😍💪”
Kasparaitis, known more for his over-the-top physicality than his goal-scoring ability, beat Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek with a shot from between the circles to grab the victory.
“I haven’t seen him score a goal in practice since I’ve been here – three months!” Penguins winger Kevin Stevens said after the game. ‘He’s got the worst wrist shot. Him and Boogy (defenseman Bob Boughner), they go down as the two worst wrist shots in hockey.”
The random goal from Kasperitus gave the Penguins a date with the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. New Jersey would later win the series but lose in the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche.
Ovechkin’s massive stick collection continues to grow. Recently, the Russian machine received a game-used stick from Wayne Gretzky.
“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.”
Ovechkin received the stick Gretzky scored his 807th goal with last November. He scored himself later that night.
Ovechkin keeps many of the sticks in his basement at his Northern Virginia home. He also has a collection at his Moscow dacha. Ovechkin keeps many of his own milestone sticks and asks other superstars for their own.
Before receiving Gretzky’s milestone twig, Ovechkin’s favorite stick was 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.”
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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