Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was on hand for the closing ceremonies of the 2022 “OviCup” held at the Vladimir Petrov Arena in Moscow on Saturday. Beginning in 2018, the annual Alexander Ovechkin Cup (Ovi Cup) is a week-long hockey tournament held for youth teams from all across Russia.
This year’s tournament included teams from 12 of the country’s leading hockey academies, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, Omsk, Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, as well as from Belarus.
One of the main features of this year’s tournament was the “Legends of Hockey” exhibition game, which was also held on Saturday. Ovechkin was joined by other Russian hockey greats including fellow Capital Dmitry Orlov, former Capital Ilya Kovalchuk, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Valery Kamensky, Alexei Kasatonov, Alexander Yakushev and Alexei Zhamnov for the game.
The main focus of the OviCup is to attract the attention of children so that they get involved in sports and hockey as much as possible. To put their gadgets aside and pick up sticks.
There are 64 ice arenas in the Moscow region, 34 of which have been built in the last 5 years. By 2023, there will be 5 more indoor skating rinks.
Following the conclusion of the 2022 OviCup, Ovechkin moved to the interwebs for the first-ever OviCyberCup at the Festival Square of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex.
Ovechkin told Russian media that he has already begun workouts for the coming 2022-23 NHL season, and will be retuning to the US in about three weeks.
Ilya Kovalchuk, 39, was asked if he would return to his playing career this season, but dodged the question by saying he was already playing today (referencing the exhibition game). Kovalchuk sat out last season to be the manager of the Russian Olympic team.