"I remember my first pair of skates -- CCM 652," Ovechkin said. "My brother bought them for me. It was a long time ago. I was … I can't remember (how old). We don't have a lot of choices over in Russia. He just bought them for me. They were not my size. They were too big, so we put some paper in the toe."
Along the way to becoming an NHL superstar, Ovechkin not only has graduated to customized CCM skates, but he has his own line now for aspiring young superstars to wear.
"Well, first of all I have a contract, but secondly it doesn't matter if I have a contract or not -- I just feel comfortable in them," Ovechkin said. "Always have."
There are two distinct characteristics that help make Ovechkin stand out on the ice (aside from his transcendent ability) -- the tinted visor attached to his helmet and the yellow laces on his skates.
"Well, first of all I have a contract, but secondly it doesn't matter if I have a contract or not -- I just feel comfortable in them. Always have." -- Alex Ovechkin He is part of a new generation of European players who still wear yellow laces like great players such as Jaromir Jagr, Pavel Bure and Petr Nedved did before them.
"I think I've had them probably seven years, eight years," Ovechkin said of the laces.
Players like Jagr and Bure wore wax laces and yellow was the only color option. Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and many other Europeans don't wear wax laces, though, and many colors are available. Yet, they continue to lace up their skates with yellow ones as a tribute to players gone by.
"I've seen a lot of little kids wearing the yellow laces and I'm sure it is because of Ovi," Chimera said. "Whoever is making those yellow laces is probably pretty thankful he is wearing them."
Thursday, October 28, 2010
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