Alex Ovechkin made a new friend before he flew across the Atlantic on Saturday.
While doing a promotional appearance at FonFest, Ovechkin was introduced to Krut, the first mascot in Kontinental Hockey League history.
Krut is a bigfoot with lots of white hair; a large, toothy smile; and no light behind either of his eyes.
The two hockey icons posed for a photo together and even gave each other a fist-bump which the KHL acknowledged in its Instagram caption. Translated into English, the message reads “Кrut 🤜🤛 Оvi.”
Krut was created ahead of the KHL’s 15th anniversary when the league felt like there was just something missing to take it to the next level.
“At the stage of developing a new league strategy, we realized that we lacked some kind of distinctive image, a representative to communicate with our fans, especially with a young audience,” Sergey Dobrokhvalov, vice president of the KHL, said in a release and translated by Google Translate. “At the stage of collecting ideas, a lot was discussed, but in the end, it seems to me, we came to the best decision.”
Enter: Krut, whose name means rough and rugged. The KHL considered dozens of renderings, including dogs and firebirds, before settling on “the largest, softest, most energetic, and friendly” mascot one could imagine.
Krut’s story is about as inscrutable as a real-life bigfoot, but the KHL did try its best to explain.
According to legend, after the 15th season, the winners of the Talismania – the Wolf, the Polar Bear and the Zubrik – decided to find a new superhero who could light up the stands and give the fans new emotions. At the same time, a great hockey fan and a professional climber went to conquer Elbrus, so that, at the request of his son, a young hockey player, he could hoist the League flag on top. During the ascent, he began to notice unusual things: a huge stick, a stone that looked very much like a puck, and giant footprints. It was Krut, who jokingly started playing hockey – when he saw the KHL logo on the climber’s jacket, Bigfoot wanted to make friends with him. Together they returned to the ordinary world, and the winners of the Talismania realized: Krut is exactly the one they need!
The league also released the story in video form.
Krut’s birthday falls on December 1, the All-Russian Hockey Day. The league says Krut will become the face of a KHL children’s website and is importantly already on social media.
Welcome to the Hockey World, Krut.
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