The Washington Capitals announced on Friday morning that the team will hold a pre-game ceremony on March 21 against the Columbus Blue Jackets to honor captain Alex Ovechkin for making history and passing Gordie Howe for second place on the NHL’s goal scoring list.
During the ceremony, Ovechkin will receive a special gift from the organization, the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and his teammates.
This bobblehead is #Gr802-approved!
Get yours on March 21 at Capital One Arena.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 10, 2023
Ted Leonsis, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Capitals president Dick Patrick, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and Mark Howe will join Ovechkin’s wife Nastya, kids Sergei and Ilya, mom Tatyana and brother Mikhail on the ice to honor Ovechkin.
Capitals players will wear #8 on their jerseys for warmups, which will be signed and auctioned off by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation at a later date.
Bobbleheads For All!
All fans in attendance will receive an Ovechkin goal counter bobblehead, courtesy of Capital One. The bobblehead box features a QR code for “AR Ovi,” an augmented reality experience built by Balti Virtual in honor of Ovechkin passing Gordie Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list.
The augmented reality experience allows fans to bring Ovechkin into their world by either visiting washcaps.com/AROvi on any web browser or by accessing the effect via the Capitals’ Instagram profile. The AR Experience features a special congratulations message and the AR Ovi experience. Fans are encouraged to share photos of their AR Ovi by tagging @Capitals on social media.
A Warm Welcome
As part of the evening’s festivities, 200 designated season ticket members will line the player arrival hallway to welcome Ovechkin and the team to the game. Fans along the glass for warmups will be given cutouts of Ovechkin’s image in celebration of the milestone. Fans are also invited to stop by an Ovechkin themed throne comprised of more than 802 hockey pucks on the 100-level concourse, as well as a photobooth featuring Ovechkin-themed props.
Fans are encouraged to use the #Gr802 hashtag on social media and to visit a special Ovechkin 802 microsite at WashCaps.com/Gr802, featuring highlights, all-access moments and a special tribute video for Ovechkin containing messages from NHL players across all 31teams.
NBC Sports Washington, the official sports network of the Washington Capitals and the region’s leading source for multiplatform sports coverage, will provide comprehensive coverage throughout the night. Coverage will begin with Capitals Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. from Capital One Arena. Hosted by NBC Sports Washington Caps pre and postgame show host Alexa Landestoy and analysts Alan May, Al Koken and Brent Johnson, the show will provide an all-access preview of the historic night, including Ovechkin mic’d up for the ceremony and the game.
Ovechkin made history on December 23, 2022, when he scored his 802nd career goal against the Winnipeg Jets at Capital One Arena, passing Howe for second place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Ovechkin (816) now only trails Wayne Gretzky (894) for the most goals in NHL history.
The 37-year-old Ovechkin has recorded 36 goals in 61 games this season and is on pace to score 45. Should Ovechkin reach the 50-goal mark, it would mark his 10th career 50-goal season, passing Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most in NHL history. In addition, Ovechkin would pass Gretzky (12) for the most 40-goal seasons in NHL history. On December 13 against the Chicago Blackhawks, Ovechkin recorded his 29th career hat trick to become the third player in NHL history to reach the 800-goal mark. Ovechkin holds many other records, including for the most power-play goals, most goals in road games, and most goals with the same team in NHL history. Ovechkin is the only player in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe, a Calder, an Art Ross, a Hart, a Ted Lindsay, and a Maurice Richard Trophy.
This is definitely what is important to the team right now. Ovi’s goal chase. Don’t worry about silly things like winning another Cup!
I sense a bit of sarcasm there, Kim. 😁 Happy Friday anyway.
Me sarcastic? NEVER!
In a season full of injuries and terrible play and line changes for the sake of just making a change I guess that this could be considered a bright spot! It is sad to see an owner so obsessed with a personal goal of 1 player that he will ruin the team to get it just to satisfy his bloated ego. At the rate that Ovie is scoring he is on pace to break the record either very late in the 24/25 season or by Dec in the 25/26 season. As Ovie has been their main marketing tool for the past decade, wonder what they will use after he gets the record and retires? Maybe they go back to promoting come see these other players or teams play while we rebuild which is what we should have done several years ago
NHL (PHIL!) should bring the trophies Ovi has won down and display them.
Let’s face it. Ovi not only sells Caps tickets but tickets (and mdse) to fans across North America (don’t know about overseas). In viewing other arenas I see a lot of Ovi jerseys.