It’s a fact that Alexander Ovechkin is one of the, if not the biggest, stars in the NHL at the moment. The Russian forward is chasing Wayne Gretzkys‘ all time goal record in the league.
Last week, Ovi scored his third hattrick in six games, cementing him as the first player in the NHL to score 40 goals this season and a total ninth time in his career.
Ovechkin, drafted first overall in the 2004 NHL draft, is playing his 15th straight season for the Capitals.
But once upon a time, he of course was also a rookie. The Athletic asked several of his teammates throughout the years about their favorite Ovechkin memory. And one of them, told by his former trainer Greg Smith, is just awesome.
It was early in his rookie season, during a game, Ovechkin turned to Smith and asked him:
“Do you have a wodka?” I said, “A what?” He said, “You know, a wodka?” He does the drinking motion. I said, “Oh, vodka.” I said, “No, I don’t have any vodka. It’s the middle of a game.” I’m thinking what’s wrong with this guy?”, Smith tells The Athletic.
“Then he shows me — and honest to god — it’s a little paper cut on his finger. He’s like, “You know, wodka? It kills germs.” I’m like, “No, no, we have peroxide for that. But don’t drink it.” He pours it on his cut”.
Ovechkin put up an incredible 106 points scoring 52 goals in 82 games in his rookie season. He became Rookie of the month twice and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year.
After asking Greg Smith about the vodka, “The Great Eight”, wasn’t finished.
And then he says, “I need a plaster.” I said, “What is a plaster?” You know how he gets. I have a fanny pack on He grabs my waist and starts digging around in my fanny pack and pulls out a band-aid and says, “See? Plaster.”, Smith tells The Athletic.
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