As a kid, Connor McMichael loved hockey and envisioned himself as an NHL player. One year, his mom revealed on social media that he had dressed up as Alex Ovechkin for Halloween.
Fast forward over a decade later, McMichael was drafted by the Capitals and now plays on the same team as his childhood idol. Connor’s first NHL goal was assisted by Ovi and they even embraced at center ice after the milestone marker.
Over the weekend, after the Capitals played back-to-back matinee games against the Islanders and Canucks, McMichael got to spend some more intimate time with his new real-life pal after turning 21 on Saturday.
First, McMichael took to his Instagram Story to share a selfie of himself with his head pressed against Ovechkin’s shoulder.
Minutes later, McMichael posted a different cuddling photo with Ovechkin onto his main timeline that read, “With my best friend!”
The photos were shared across Twitter widely by Capitals fans, but did not last long on McMichael’s own account.
McMichael deleted the Instagram Story photo shortly after posting on Sunday night. At some point on Monday, McMichael deleted the Instagram post too.
The photos are fun and innocuous but perhaps the context behind them isn’t as tidy as one could be for an NHL player. It’s possible the Capitals were celebrating McMichael’s 21st birthday together as a team. One would then wonder if McMichael posted the photos with a clear mind. Or maybe he didn’t physically post them to his account at all. Silly hockey boys can sometimes be silly.
Or perhaps McMichael broke an informal team rule among Capitals players. Tom Wilson once made Jakub Vrana get off social media in 2018 as the Capitals celebrated their Stanley Cup win.
“I did have to tell Vrana to shut his Instagram Live Story down because he was cross-eyed,” Wilson said in 2018. “I was like ‘Come on, buddy. Just to keep it to yourself here for the late hours of the night.’”
There’s a lot we do not know here. What I do know is that Ovechkin, who recently celebrated the 12-year anniversary of becoming the Capitals captain, is not afraid to get into the trenches to make his young teammates feel supported.
Headline photo: @catmcmichael/@connor91mcmichael
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