Capitals' video celebrating Ovechkin's 700 goals is a real tear-jerker

Chris Lingebach
February 26, 2020 - 2:34 pm

The Capitals brought tears to eyes all around the hockey world Tuesday with their touching tribute video commemorating Alex Ovechkin reaching 700 career goals.

'Dear Ovi' featured messages from six of the seven players ahead of him on the all-time scoring list, including longtime Capital Mike Gartner (708), Phil Esposito (717), Marcel Dionne (731), Brett Hull (741), Jaromir Jagr (766) and The Great One, Wayne Gretzky (894). Gordie Howe (801), who passed away in 2016, was represented by his son, hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe.

"I've been told there are more guys that have walked on the face of the moon than have scored 700 goals, and you've made it look easy so far in your career. And we both know that it's not easy to score that many goals," said Gartner. "And I also think it's pretty cool that two Washington Capitals are in that 700-goal club."

"In 1972, when I was in Russia, they said, 'We've got to be able to match the emotion of the North Americans.' You certainly have done that," said Esposito. "I love watching you score. You enjoy it so much. And good luck to you in the future, man. 700? Go for 800."

"The first day I saw you coming in the NHL, I realized that you were a true sniper," said Dionne. "You're an exciting player. You play with passion. You get your team going and you crush people! And most of your goals are spectacular. You are a true, true hockey player, and congratulations, joining all these guys."

"Nothing gives me more pleasure than turning on the TV and watching The Great Eight hammer one-timers from the left circle into the top of the net," said Hull. "You're a great player, you're a Stanley Cup champion, and you deserve everything you've got. And I'm certainly proud of you. Do svidaniya (Russian for 'until the next time)."

The greatest line of them all, perhaps, came from former Capital Jaromir Jagr, a fellow member of the exclusive 700 club. Jagr finished with 766 goals in his prolific 24-year NHL career. Ovechkin is in his 15th season.

"Seven-hundred goals, that's a lot of goals," Jagr said. "Trust me, it took me a lot more time. But you deserve it."

"And if I would be Wayne Gretzky, I would be shaking right now," he added. "Because I think you're gonna beat him."

And unlike the day in which Ovi reached his incredible milestone, the moment wasn't spoiled by a loss. In fact, quite the opposite occurred. It was Ovechkin who netted the game-winning goal in the fifth frame of Washington's overtime shootout.

The tribute extended beyond the walls of Capital One Arena, with players around the league – young and old – sharing the impact Ovi's had on the game of hockey and themselves, personally.

Even more touching, Ovi was able to share the moment with his son, Sergei. The Ovechkins, by the way, announced this week they're expecting their second child.

"Congratulations on joining the 700 Club," Gretzky said. "You've had an outstanding career – you've scored 700 goals, you've won a Stanley Cup, and you've meant a lot to to the game of hockey, not only in Washington, but throughout North America, and in Russia, of course. I'll be there saying the same thing when you get to 800. Good luck."

For the gripping closer, the video cuts to Ovi's parents, who bring one last round of waterworks (translation courtesy The Washington Capitals).

"Congratulations to you from both of us," his mother says. "You are wonderful. We have always believed in you. We are so proud of you, our son. We also want to extend our huge thanks to the entire coaching and training staff, management, and the whole team. And of course, our extended gratitude and appreciation to all the fans."

"It is an incredible organization, the Washington Capitals. We want to wish everyone happiness and good health. Once again, congratulations! Big kisses from both of us – we love you all very much!"