Imagine meeting your idol. No, wait. Imagine suiting up in the same dressing room as your childhood hero and skating on the same forward line with him. And then breaking all of his records.
Alex Ovechkin doesn’t have to imagine. He got to live it. For two seasons, Ovechkin and Sergei Fedorov were teammates with the Washington Capitals.
“He was my idol when I was growing up,” said Ovechkin, who wore a Fedorov No. 91 Detroit Red Wings sweater as a youngster. “You have a dream just to meet those kind of guys.
“To have a chance to play with him on the same line on the same team, he was the best teammate I had and the best player I played with.”
This adulation was news to Fedorov. Ovechkin could never bring himself to tell Fedorov about it when the both wore the Capitals’ jersey.
“I saw a picture of Alex when he was, I don’t know, seven or six or eight or nine, something like that, it was Fedorov and 91, black jersey with black letters,” Fedorov said. “He never told me about that part of his life, that he was wearing something like that.”
Ovechkin shattered Fedorov’s NHL record of 483 goals by a Russian-born and trained NHLer, and his hero was okay with the torch being passed.
“I think records are made to be broken,” Fedorov said. “To me, it was just a matter of time. He’s a great player, especially a great goal scorer. “I thought Alex would go beyond 600 goals, maybe even 700 goals,” Fedorov predicted confidently.
Fedorov doesn’t mind taking a little bit of credit for helping Ovi along the path the greatness.
“I guess as he grows older – because I stopped aging, you know, after I finished – he realized everything I said to him was true and he could use that towards his advantage in his life on the ice and off the ice,” Fedorov said with a laugh.