It was a day the kids would never forget. This past Thursday at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va reigning MVP Alexander Ovechkin ands Yahoo! Sports gave the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club a chance to do something every young hockey fan dreams of- a chance to skate with the NHLâ€™s top player. From 2:30-3:30 , Alex conducted an exclusive hockey clinic for the kids of 72-year old Neal Hendersonâ€™s club team- the oldest minority hockey program in the country. After the skate Alex treated each of the 12 kids to a $450 shopping spree for new hockey equipment care of the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund and Oviâ€™s Crazy Eights program.
â€œI remember how big a deal it was for older guys to be skating with us when I was a kid,” Ovechkin said. “When you see how big and fast and strong a guy can be, that was really special. I was a little older, maybe 15, when Igor Larionov skated with my team in Moscow, with Dynamo. That was unbelievable.”
“To me, it shows that our organization and our kids must mean something to the world to have a worldly-known person come to visit because he’s only known to people like (the NHL fans and media),” Henderson said.
The skate presented by Yahoo! is only one of the many community initiatives that Alex has recently been a part of. Earlier in this year, Alex hosted the Crazy 8â€™s Skills Session during which he skated for an hour with the youth hockey players, joining them in drills, passing the puck and sharing tips on how to one day make it to the NHL.