Russian forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin are two of the greatest hockey players of their generation. They have been linked together since childhood. The two played together as teenagers on Russian national teams. They were selected one and two in the 2004 NHL Draft. For nearly two decades, they’ve ferociously competed against each other in one of the biggest rivalries in hockey.
Off the ice, the two have become close friends after some initial tumult in the NHL, and during Ovechkin’s 35th birthday celebration, it was Malkin who had some of the kindest words.