Capitals legend Dmitri Khristich was a guest at the Frederick Sportscards, Comic, and Collectibles Show at Frederick High School on Saturday. A donation allowed fans to meet Khristich and get his autograph.
The signing was Khristich’s first known public appearance since a February report that the two-time NHL All-Star was still in Ukraine.
Khristich notably wore number 8 with the Washington Capitals before Alex Ovechkin.
I met some really awesome people today at my local card show. Even though I was going on about 3 hours of sleep after card pricing all night. So grateful to Dimitry Kristich for making the trip to Frederick. There is no other sport that has a better community. Hockey is #1️⃣🇺🇦👍🏒 pic.twitter.com/ebbOSkztdH
— MG Funk (@UmbrellaMerc98) December 17, 2022
In a brief conversation, Khristich said that he and his family left Ukraine about a month after the war started. He’s now thankfully safe and sound in the United States.
Khristich was born and raised in Kyiv — Ukraine’s capital city where many of the scariest moments in the opening of the war occurred. But when Russia initially advanced, Khristich was living in the middle of the country in an area that was “quieter” and not embroiled in much fighting.
In years prior, overseas news stories reported that Khristich settled in Kremenchuk — a city based along the Dnipro River — as a Youth Hockey Supervisor. In late June, Russian Armed Forces fired two anti-ship missles that struck a Kremenchuk shopping mall and a machinery plant that killed at least 20, per Wikipedia. It was the fifth known attack on the city since the war started in February.
Now back in the US, Khristich, who roomed with Alan May early in his career, shared his desire to participate more in Capitals alumni events. His last appearance for the Capitals was in 2018 at the Capitals Alumni’s Rooftop Bourbon and Cigar Event. He was also featured in a video along with former Capital Andrei Nikolishin.
Khristich spent seven seasons playing for the Washington Capitals and tallied 596 points (259g, 337a) during his 811-game NHL career that also included stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Khristich represented Ukraine in the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He ended his playing career in 2004 after playing two seasons for the Russian Super League’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Khristich stayed around the sport after his career ended, serving in various coaching and management roles with the Ukranian national hockey team from 2008 to 2013. Dmitri returned to the KHL (Traktor, Amur) from 2015-2017 to serve as a video coach.
Since 1988, thirty Ukrainians have been drafted into the NHL per Elite Prospects. Khristich is the highest-scoring Ukrainian player ever.
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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