Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Alex Ovechkin shines on All-Star Weekend for a different reason
by Ryan Womeldorf from Sports Glory:
Good Guy Ovi was back at it again on All-Star weekend.
Heading into the festivities, Alex Ovechkin wanted a car pretty badly and there were two ways to do it:
First, get picked last during the Fantasy Draft on Friday, winning the “Mr. Irrelevant” for the night and being given a brand new Honda for that honor. Heck, Ovi even campaigned for it on his Instagram, with a hand-written note reading “I WANT TO BE LAST. I NEED A CAR.”
It just wasn’t to be, with his name coming off the board second to last.
His second opportunity would come Sunday in the game itself. If he could win the Most Valuable Player award, he would take home the car. His three assists weren’t enough to get the job done, though he was able to help linemate and hometown boy Ryan Johansen win the honors.
“I’m not disappointed,” said Ovechkin. “There’s going to be a couple surprises.”
And the surprise was a good one: Honda is giving Ovechkin a 2015 Accord, which Ovechkin will donate to Ice Dogs, a northern Virginia hockey program for special needs youth players. He’s worked with them before, meeting a 10-year-old girl named Ann Schaab who has Down Syndrome. She memorably asked for a sushi date and wasn’t disappointed.
After Ovechkin begged for a car at the NHL Fantasy Draft and didn’t get one, executives from Honda took notice. “Once we saw all the action, activity and emotion, we reached out to the NHL and asked if we could work something out,” said Nick Lee, their national advertising manager. “We didn’t find out the reason he wanted one until we connected with his agent.”
Ovechkin’s agent David Abrutyn said that the Capitals captain had not only decided to donate any car he might receive during the weekend, but that he’d always had Ice Dogs in mind because of his time with Ann.
“It’s going to go to Ann and the [Ice Dogs] organization. It’s all about having fun and making people happy.”
It is fun watching him score highlight reel goals, but it’s even more fun watching him put smiles on faces.