Anyone watching NHL hockey knows the name Alexander Ovechkin, especially if you are part of the Eastern Conference. He has inspired a new generation to become hockey players and hockey fans- especially in his homeland Russia. Now he has a new title: NHL Ambassador to China, where he will be heading in early August.
In the prestigious role he will represent the sport of hockey in Beijing where he will meet with youth clinics and with business to promote the growth of hockey in an expanding market. The NHL is committed to developing the sport in areas outside traditional outlets including China which has hosted several preseason games since 2017. Last season, former Capitals’ player Michael Latta was one of several former NHL players to become a member of Kunlun Red Star, a KHL team based in Shanghai–an example of the recognition of a this new market for ice arenas.
Who better than Ovechkin who is probably the most globally recognized name in hockey along with Wayne Gretzky. This is even more true since the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018 and his relationship with Lord Stanley became a global trend on Twitter! He continues to exhibit a commitment to excel in a sport that seems always to be fighting with football and soccer for recognition, heightening the excitement. Just last month he added one more accolade when ESPY awarded him the Best NHL Player award for the second time.
About the trip, Ovechkin is reported to have said: “It is a huge honor for me to be an ambassador for the entire Washington Capitals organization and the National Hockey League for this special trip to China. I think it is very important to spend time to help make people all over the world see how great a game hockey is.” From Washington to Russia and now China, Ovi clearly is a legend!