The Washington Capitals’ best tweet of the All-Star Skills Competition did not get much attention, but its nuance and context made it an all-timer.
Shortly after Sergei Ovechkin combined with Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby to win the Breakaway Challenge at FLA Live Arena, the Capitals told the Florida Panthers, “just letting you know #OviJr isn’t draft-eligible yet 😉.”
Hey @FlaPanthers, just letting you know #OviJr isn't draft-eligible yet 😉
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 4, 2023
For long-time Capitals and Ovechkin fans, this calls back to a moment during the 2003 NHL Draft where Ovi was at one time almost a Florida Panthers player – if you follow the logic that then Panthers GM Rick Dudley used.
Alex Ovechkin was born two days after the cutoff date for prospects to be eligible to be selected in the 2003 draft. In four different rounds, Dudley tried to select Ovechkin based on the logic that without leap year days, the Russian phenom would actually turn 18 years old four days before his official birthdate and thus have been eligible for the 2003 selection process.
“It’s a long shot,” Dudley said at the time to Devan Kojacevic. “But, if it’s a viable long shot, we would be a very happy crew because he’s a special player.”
The NHL did not subscribe to that logic and the Capitals selected Ovi first overall the very next year.
The Caps are making sure Ovi Jr has a chance to follow that same path. They’ll need to, especially after team owner Ted Leonsis pitched a new line for his team made up of the two Ovechkins and Nicklas Backstrom.
Headline photo: @asachs3/IG
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