While the National Hockey League’s regular season has continued as planned, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has weighed heavy on the minds of many of its players, past and present. Among them is former NHL and Washington Capitals forward Dmitri Khristich, who is currently in Ukraine.
TSN’s Gord Miller recently shared a message from the Kyiv, Ukraine native, who sent a message as Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, sits as the current target of the Russian invasion.
“We are fighting hard, doing our best. We need you to tell the Russian people what is really going on. All they hear is propaganda and lies”.
The man 3rd from the left in the photo is former NHL player Dmitri Kristich. He called today from Ukraine asking us to pass on a message: “We are fighting hard, doing our best. We need you to tell the Russian people what is really going on. All they hear is propaganda and lies.” pic.twitter.com/HhGYiS9zyn
— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) February 26, 2022
Khristich, who played a total of 419 games with the Capitals over seven seasons in two stins (1990-95, 2000-02) and compiled 300 – 140 goals, 160 assists – points, was drafted by the team in 1988.
Perhaps one of the more notable player to don the sweater number 8 prior to current number holder and team captain Alex Ovechkin, who spoke recently on the invasion with the media, Khristich also played stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs, and is the all-time leading scorer in Goals (259), Assists (337), and Points (596) among Ukrainian NHL players.
Khristich was born in Kiev, U.S.S.R (now Ukraine) on July 23, 1969. He played for the Kiev Sokol Club in his home city from the 1985-86 season through the first part of the 1990-91 season, six seasons in all. He began his playing career with Kiev Sokol when he was only 16-years old.
He was drafted in the sixth-round of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft , with the 120th overall pick. At the time the Caps drafted him, he was considered a raw talent. However, he progressed with Kiev Sokol and took on greater responsibility as time passed.
He represented the Soviet Union in the World Junior Championships in 1989 and scored six goals and added two assists. He also represented the Soviet Union in the World Championships in 1990 and had two goals and three assists in seven games as the Soviet team earned a gold medal.
Originally, Khristich did not wish to defect to the United States. But by 1990, Soviet teams needed cash and, thus, released Khristich to the Capitals and he joined the team on December 11, 1990.
By Michael Fleetwood