By Faith Harris
Washington Nationals legend Ryan Zimmerman recently took to Instagram to congratulate his friend Alex Ovechkin on reaching the 800-goal milestone.
Zimmerman, who recently retired from the MLB, spent his entire career with the Nationals, winning a World Series in 2019.
“Congrats on #800, @aleksandrovechkinofficial!!” Zimmerman said. “Been a pleasure to watch you over the years and look forward to many more 🐐”
He added, “PS – You’re lucky I wasn’t in front of the net!”
Zimmerman was referencing the time in 2020 when he joined the Capitals for a practice. After placing a bet with Nicklas Backstrom that playing goalie couldn’t be that difficult, the Swedish center challenged him to come see for himself. He was actually able to snag a couple of Ovi’s half-powered shots with his glove hand while playing in net. The rest of the team had to show Zimmerman the real NHL level and proceeded to blast shots past him.
Zimmerman’s friendship with the Capitals has been a near constant one since his early years with the Nationals. He even took a photo with Ovi when the Capitals star took batting practice and threw out the first pitch in 2007.
During the Stanley Cup Final, Zimmerman and former Nats pitcher Max Scherzer attended game 4 sporting full Capitals hockey uniforms. They led the crowd in “Let’s Go Caps” chants along with the Capitals horn guy.
The @Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman and @Max_Scherzer in the building to get Game 4 started right! #ALLCAPS #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/P0SO74M4Kg
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 5, 2018
When Zimmerman’s own team won the MLB World Series just a year later, the Capitals hosted a Nats Championship night at their game vs. the Calgary Flames. Zimmerman and Ovechkin posed next to each other during the group photo on the ice.
Since retiring, Zimmerman has been working with MASN as a third broadcaster. He lives in Virginia with his wife and four children.
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