Ok, just kidding...
By Corey Masisak, TWT "IN the room", Sept. 15, 2008 2:06 PM
Alex Ovechkin spoke to the media for a few minutes after skating with the rookies. Not a lot of new to report there, other than he said he's at the same weight he was before last season.
From Capitals Insider, Sept. 15, 2008 3:21 PM ET "Rookie Camp: Day Two":
So how exactly did Alex Ovechkin end up on the ice with two dozen prospects at KCI this morning? He came to Coach Bruce Boudreau at 8:30 a.m. and asked if it would be okay, that's how.
"What does that say about the character of the guy?" Boudreau said. "I thought it would be quite a thrill for some of these young kids to get a pass from Alex."
From the sounds of it, those young kids got a whole lot more.
Many of them did a doubletake when Ovechkin joined them on the bench. And although they tried not to stare, I definitely caught a few of them sizing up the reigning MVP when he skated past. Ovechkin also was fully aware that he being watched. For example, he made sure to skate to the front and pay close attention when Boudreau went over Xs and Os at the dry erase board.
One prospect in particular will have a story to tell later on. Defenseman Eric Mestery, an 18-year-old draft pick, was manning his position in front of the net when Ovechkin raced in, slammed on the brakes and gave Mestery a shove.
"I didn't know what to do, actually," Mestery said with a big smile. "I didn't know whether to push him back or just ...I don't know. It was great to have him on the ice. It was so cool. My parents are here and they were taking pictures."
"I just thought, 'Wow, that's Ovechkin, the best player in the league," he added.
Ovechkin introduced himself to Mestery with an elbow to the gut, but for the most part, Ovechkin held back a little, particularly when it came to unloading his rocket of a slap shot.
"My shot right now, actually, it's not good right now," Ovechkin joked. "CCM is making me new sticks right now, so I have to figure out what's going on."
He added: "They [kept asking] me one question: if you go on break away or you have chance to score, where do you shoot?"
Ovechkin came back to Kettler around 3 p.m. to pick up Russian prospects Simeon Varlamov, Dmitry Kugryshev and Viktor Dovgan, who grabbed their belongings and followed Ovechkin out to his car like younger brothers trailing their big brother.
"Guys have a tendency not to show that they are in awe," Boudreau said. "But I bet you when they go home, the first person they phone are mom and dad and say, 'You're not going to believe who was on the ice with today.'"