Thursday night, Alex Ovechkin will play in his first game since the passing of his father Mikhail last Wednesday.
The Capitals will honor Ovi Sr. with a helmet decal that reads PAPA OVI.
The team announced the news shortly before players arrived at Capital One Arena for its game against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Capitals also honored Mikhail Ovechkin with a moment of silence before its game last Thursday against the Florida Panthers.
The sticker tribute is similar to what the Capitals did when TJ Oshie’s father, Tim, died in 2021. The team created navy blue stickers that read COACH, Tim’s nickname since he coached TJ’s teams as he was growing up.
The honor for Mikhail will likely be emotional for Ovechkin, who called grappling with the news of his father’s death “the toughest situation I’ve been through all NHL career.”
“He give me everything,” Ovechkin said of his dad. “All his health, all his time. He travel with me all over the world and been at every practice when he have a chance.”
Speaking to the press after the Capitals morning skate, Oshie expected that the game will be healing for Ovi and the team as well.
“I think it’ll make for an emotional return,” said Oshie, “He’s our leader, our captain. It’ll be super important to get him back. Just having him being around the guys, I think that alone will bring the spark that maybe we need to get out of this rut we’re in.”
Oshie added, “I imagine he’s going to have an angel watching over him tonight.”
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