One day of Alexander Michailovich Ovechkin...
Click on the link above (h/t to Japer's Rink) and watch one day of Alexander Michailovich Ovechkin... June 13th unofficially became Alex Ovechkin's day.
On this day Alex received the key to the city of Washington, DC, he is followed by his brother Michail and beautiful Alyonka, the daughter of his childhood hero Igor Larionov. He is happy and we (on behalf of all Ovechkin fans) are happy for him...
Thursday, June 26, 2008
h/t to Puck Daddy
This video is from MUZ-TV, the Russian version of MTV awards. Ovechkin, Kovalchuk and Morozov, members of the Russian National hockey team who won the World Championship in Quebec, were invited as announcers for the "outstanding contribution to musical industry" award. Alexei Morozov opens an envelope and says that this award is given to Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.
Ovechkin thanks the fans who supported them in Quebec, Kovalchuk says the same plus he thanks Vladislav Tretiak, "the right person who joined Russian hockey federation". Tretiak seems to be thrilled.
...Roughly 24 hours from now, some 550 miles to the north in Toronto, his younger brother will accept the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award, the clear choice as the NHL MVP. Mikhail won't be there. He has to be here to do his job, to live his life. Because as much as it might seem like Mikhail Ovechkin exists shrouded by his brother's long shadow - residing in the same city, working in the same building - Mikhail is trying hard to have a life of his own.
He no longer lives in the $1.5 million Arlington apartment the two brothers shared during Alex's rookie year, having moved into his own modest home in Ashburn. He takes the metro and walks to work rather than zooming around the District in a flashy sports car.
"He doesn't ask me to get him things or anything like that," Alex says when asked about his brother. "He never use my money."
Mikhail says he never once has been envious of his brother.
"Why would I?" he says, his voice rising from a quiet monotone, emotion appearing on his face for the first time. "Jealousy is bad thing. I am happy for him. This is his dream."
No, this is simply a story of two different men, leading separate lives.
"He's much more reserved than Alex," says Caps director of media relations Nate Ewell, who knows both brothers personally. "They are extremely close though."
Says Mikhail: "I'm more calm. He's more emotional."
"I am happy for him," Alex says. "I hope he don't stop and keeps moving forward. I told him he can do whatever he wants."
Maybe he'll be Washington Mystics Head Coach one day, who knows...
Mystics coach Tree Rollins and chief operating officer Greg Bibb say Mikhail's position with the organization is based on the merits of his passionate work ethic and sharp eye for basketball talent - not his last name.
"He's very self-motivated," says Bibb, who hired Ovechkin at the beginning of the 2008 season. "He knows what he's doing."
Bibb and Rollins are thankful for the thankless job Ovechkin does in the video room, but they also appreciate his trusted advice on foreign prospects. This isn't Mikhail's first dance on hardwood. Before joining the Mystics, he worked six years for Dynamo Moscow, the women's professional team for which his mother, Tatiana, serves as president. He toured Europe with the team and learned about the game from Tatiana, a former two-time Olympic gold medalist and Dynamo star.
"He loves women's basketball," Alex says.
According to Oleg Gonchar's interview to SovSport.ru, Dmitri Kapitonov, who Ovechkin mentioned as his personal trainer in the awards ceremony in Toronto, is "busy" and won't train Gonchar and Malkin this summer in St. Petersburg, Russia. Gonchar said that he and Malkin will do the training in St. Petersburg on their own and hope that Radulov will join them.
No word on Ovechkin.
Dmitri Kapitonov relocated to the United States last year and lives in Washington area. I won't be surprised if Ovechkin will do his training with him in US.
Alex is now in Turkey on vacation after successfully finishing his Bachelor's degree, he got an "A" on his final diploma project (SovSport.ru).
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Craig O'Connor from Hagerstown, Md., was there, with his 5-year-old son Owen, wearing an Ovechkin shirt, buying Capitals season tickets for next season.
"My little man is really getting into it," O'Connor said. "He's nuts about hockey and his whole room is Ovechkin. We weren't going to miss this."
It struck me while watching the awards presentation just how big of an impact and presence Ovechkin is on the sports landscape.
Cammi Granato was one of the presenters. I met Granato in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, when she led the American women to the gold medal in the first women's ice hockey competition in the Games. She spoke of how she and her brothers used to recreate in their basement the 1980 Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid, when the underdog American team upset the powerful Russians in the Winter Olympics.
This was a young girl growing up in the suburbs of Chicago who was clearly moved and influenced by the United States victory over the Russians, at a time when tensions between the two countries were high. They were the hated and feared Soviets.
Now a Russian hockey player who plays in the capital of the United States is celebrated as the best player in the NHL. And a 5-year-old boy from rural Hagerstown, Md., whose room is filled with Ovechkin posters, watched the giant video screen at Verizon Center and cheered as Ovechkin was named the league's MVP. His dreams are of a Russian hockey player.
This is how things change.
There have been Russian stars in the NHL before - Pavel Bure and of course Sergei Fedorov, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings and this season with the Capitals. But they didn't approach the level of stardom Ovechkin is reaching.
He is truly the first Russian superstar in sports in North America since the fall of the Soviet Empire. His legacy is just beginning.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Alex Ovechkin, left, laughs with Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, right, after receiving the key to the city Friday. (Stephen J Boitano/Associated Press)
"Today is a big day," said Ovechkin, standing on the front steps of city hall. "I have a key for the city. And I'm the president this day in the city, so everybody have fun — and no speed limit!"
One day after the native of Russia claimed the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player, he received the key to the city Friday in Washington from Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
Ovechkin, 22, was honoured as the city's first MVP in a major North American sport since quarterback Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins accomplished the feat in 1983.
On display at the event were the Hart and Pearson trophies, as well as the Rocket Richard Trophy for his NHL-best 65 goals and the Art Ross Trophy for his league-high 112 points.
Ovechkin is the first NHL player to win all four awards in the same season and the collection made for an impressive display of hardware before the hundreds of fans chanting "M-V-P!"
"Who said Washington wasn't a hockey town?" Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said.
Ovechkin met with Fenty and the District of Columbia council before moving on to a more casual gathering at a Leonsis-hosted exclusive party at a downtown restaurant.
Source: CBCCports.ca, June 13, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images
By Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, June 12, 2008
TORONTO — Alex Ovechkin left the NHL Awards show Thursday with a trophy in each arm.
The charismatic left wing of the Washington Capitals received his first Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Ovechkin's fellow players also made him the winner of the Lester B. Pearson Award.
"I want to win everything," Ovechkin said after the show at the Elgin Theatre. "Next year, maybe Stanley Cup. I'm happy with where my life is going."
Ovechkin received 128 first-place votes for the Hart, among 1,313 total. Runner-up Evgeni Malkin received 659 votes.
From Washington Post, June 12, 2008: WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced Wednesday that he will present Ovechkin with a key to the city on Friday if the Capitals' all-star wins the Hart Trophy. The tentative fan celebration will be open to the public and will begin at 4 p.m. on the steps of the Wilson Building.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
From carScoop blog: Ad Makes Fun of Lada 2107
Lada was actually an upgrade over Ovechkin's first car Zhiguli, VAZ-2106.
In the end, the title says: “The Legendary Lada 2107 – Quality. Tradition. Safety.”
Ovechkin: Russian machine never break.
Fedorov: Breaks! Breaks!
Ovechkin: I know, it's just sounds cool.
Semin to Fedorov (in Russian): What did he just say?
Fedorov: Alex said his first car Zhiguli had no breaks!
Semin: Tell me about it.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Here's the photo gallery from SovSport.ru
Ovechkin won Kharlamov's trophy for the third time. This time he also received a Superman's jersey (8 instead of S) and the shoes. He got the shoes because he came to visit President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in flip-flops after the Russian national team won World Championship 2008 in Canada.
The old gentleman on the photo is Valeri Kharlamov's father.
Maybe I am wrong, but it looks like Ovechkin's broken nose was set up correct this time. It doesn't look crooked anymore.
The Valeri Kharlamov trophy is similar to Lester B. Pearson trophy, the best or the most valuable player is voted by Russian NHL players. See the voting results here.