Photos: Amanda Bowen
A few weeks ago, during All-Star Weekend, Alex Ovechkin went on a seemingly bizarre quest to add an eighth automobile to his fleet of fancy cars. After failing to win it during the Fantasy Draft and All-Star Game, Honda relented, giving Ovechkin the car once they learned why he wanted one so bad: he wanted to donate it to Ann Schaab, a young girl he went out on a date with earlier in the year, and her team, the Washington Ice Dogs.
It’s the feel-good moment of what could be Ovechkin’s fourth MVP season.
On Monday, Ovechkin accepted the vehicle at a special event held at Bill Page Honda in Falls Church, Virginia. Schaab got to sit in the car. She did interviews with local media. There were plenty of adorable moments.
Photo: Melissa Schaab
“I think he said card,” Melissa Schaab said to her son Matthew. “I think he’s going to give Ann a card. Not a car.”
“But play the video again.”
That was the scene late Sunday night at the Schaab’s Laurel, MD home. Melissa’s 15-year-old son had been sent a video clip from his friends. It was of Alex Ovechkin speaking to reporters after his fifth career All-Star Game. The future Hall of Fame forward had mentioned Matthew’s sister.
The moment was unexpected, surreal.
“He means card. He’s going to send Ann a card.”
A 2015 Honda Accord is $22,105. A “Thinking of you” card by Hallmark is maybe $3.99.
He couldn’t mean car.
“Then I got on the computer and googled a little bit and saw more about it,” Melissa said. “It was all just sort of unbelievable. This is crazy. This is not happening.”
In news that will melt your heart, Alex Ovechkin got that car after all. After not winning MVP and not getting picked last in the All-Star Fantasy Draft, Honda presented Ovechkin with a giant key after the game anyway. Except it wasn’t actually for Ovi.
According to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, Ovechkin secured the 2015 Honda Accord for the Washington Ice Dogs, a local hockey club for kids with special needs. Ovechkin skated with some of the team’s kids before the season. In October, Ovechkin went on a date with one of the girls, 10-year-old Ann, who has Down’s Syndrome.
A lot of national media have called Alex Ovechkin selfish, among other awful things over the years. With that said, let’s talk about Ovechkin’s Saturday night in New Jersey.
The Russian machine had one of the most dominant performances of his career, including a sensational tally we’re calling The Goal Part II.
So how did Ovechkin celebrate? By thinking of someone else of course.
Ovechkin’s parents Mikhail and Tatyana pose with the orphans (Photo: Pavel Lysenkov/Sovetsky Sport)
Caps captain Alex Ovechkin has never shied away from charitable work. From participating in the Caps’ Make-A-Wish efforts to playing in charity preseason games annually in Russia, Ovi never misses an opportunity to help those less fortunate. Plus, we can’t forget his date with Ann earlier this season. But some of his secretive charity efforts behind the scenes are just now becoming public.
Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetsky Sport has revealed that Alex Ovechkin has quietly been supporting as many as seven orphanages in different regions of Russia.
Recently, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Bobby Hicks returned home to Virginia. After fighting in two major wars, life was supposed to be easy for Hicks and his family of Caps fans. Instead, he was diagnosed with Leukemia and faces an uncertain future. On top of that, his HVAC and water heater gave out (same thing happened to me last year and it’s the worst) just as winter began. The family reached out to the Michael & Son Cares Program.
And that’s where this sad story gets a get a little bit sunnier.
“When the Hick’s family’s story was brought to my attention, I knew we had to help,” said Basim Mansour, proud son and owner of Michael & Son Services. “Here’s a guy who gave so much for his country and asked so little in return; I not only wanted to help them with their home repairs, I wanted to do something really special for Bobby.”
Initially, Mansour wanted to bring Hicks and his family to a Capitals game for a special surprise. Instead, with Hicks unable to leave the hospital due to his intensive treatment, Mansour brought the Capitals to him.
Our team is just like that.
When we heard a superhero foundation was holding a fundraiser in D.C. featuring Caps players Karl Alzner, Troy Brouwer, and John Carlson, we put our best subject-matter expert on the case. Here’s a report from RMNB Senior Spandexed Superhero Correspondent Brouwer Ranger Nathan on “Heroes Rock the Red.”
Spirits seem to be rebounding among Caps fans following back-to-back victories against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Carolina Hurricanes this weekend. A handful of them came out to celebrate the nascent winning streak with Caps players and a bunch of superheroes while raising money for Foundation 4 Heroes (F4H).
Brouwer and Carlzner signed autographs, took photos with fans, and tended bar at City Tap House DC to raise money for the F4H, which takes a unique approach to supporting kids with life-threatening diseases. The non-profit sends superheroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman to visit kids and encourage them to find the superhero inside themselves.
Photo: Patrick McDermott
Wednesday, the Washington Capitals hosted Hockey Fights Cancer night at Verizon Center. They had 11-year-old blood cancer survivor Ryan Darby participate in the ceremonial faceoff (which was adorable). They also wore purple-colored warm-up jerseys with lavender highlights, colors that represent all forms of cancer.
During the game, the Caps auctioned the signed jerseys off (which were signed with a purple sharpie) and Chris Gordon reports they raised over $55,000 for charity.
Chris took photos of the sweaters with his iPhone 6. Check them out. We even have an Aaron Volpatti jersey sighting!
Just like the Vancouver Canucks did on Sunday, the Washington Capitals hosted their own Hockey Fights Cancer night at Verizon Center. The Capitals wore purple jerseys during warm-ups (photos) and 11-year-old blood cancer survivor Ryan Darby got to participate in the ceremonial faceoff with Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg and Caps captain Alex Ovechkin.
Darby, cute as a button, clapped wildly as Ovechkin made his way to the dot. Then he got a special surprise when they were done: a game-used stick from Alex Ovechkin.
Last year, Washington Capitals players wore silly props for a Dog Calendar, which raised a bunch of money for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. The Caps organization is producing the calendar again this year, and the photoshoot is being held at the Potomac Regional Overlook Park in Arlington, Virginia.
Players scheduled to attend include Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, John Carlson, Jack Hillen, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Justin Peters, Aaron Volpatti, and Joel Ward. They will will be posing with their own dogs. Braden Holtby, Michael Latta, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson will be photographed with shelter dogs and puppies.
We’ll be updating this article all day with photos. It should be a blast.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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