So here we are, the Cup finals. Here we finally see the one true superstar in the NHL, FINALLY get his chance. Alexander Ovechkin, Ovi, as I’ll call him the rest of the way, has finally made it. The one true superstar in the NHL has finally gotten his chance to win Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The only superstar you say? Ryan, you are crazy (or dumb), Syndey Crosby is a superstar, Connor McDavid is a superstar, P.K. Subban is a superstar. No, sorry, they are not. Are they all better than Ovi? Maybe, but that’s a debate for another time.
Ovi is the only true star in the game today.
You will see the impact of Ovi on pretty much any game of hockey being played. Name me one thing about Crosby that stands out, that some D league beer bellied 40 something is trying to replicate. Seriously name anything about Crosby other than his inability to grow facial hair. Is Crosby one of the top 10 greatest players of all time? YES without a doubt! But does some 10-year old wear yellow laces because of him? Does some D level guy who thinks he is better than he is, wear a tinted visor because of him? Does some hot shot high school player tuck his jersey into the back of his pants, and always look to rip a one-timer from the top of the circle because of him?
NO, they do that because of Ovi.
Think back to the last 10 years of All-Star games skills competitions… Try not to fall asleep. Who is out there putting on a show? Who’s having the most fun? Patrick Kane? Nahhh, it’s Ovi!. He’s won the hardest shot competition (2018 with 101.3 mph) and the Breakaway Challenge (think Dunk Contest) 3 times (2008, 2009 & 2011). He loves this game, he is REALLY good at this game, and if he was from North America would be FAR more mainstream.
For a moment, I want you to just picture basically anyone else in the league saying the following quotes.
“I wear tinted visor not to trick other players, but so hot girls in stands don’t see me looking at them.”
Can you imagine Crosby saying that?
“Right now I’m scoring goals and I’m the king of the world. And a couple weeks ago I was almost in the toilet. So maybe you just forget to flush me.”
That quote has everything! Honesty, humor, humility. I could go on and on, but the point isn’t that he says these things, or wears a tinted visor, or uses yellow laces, its that he does those things as well as being one of the best players in the last 50 years. That’s what makes him a superstar, that’s what makes him the ONLY superstar in the league, no one else in the current era has done what he has.
“My style is unique and it’s my own. I do not try to copy or imitate anybody.”