October 26, 2010
Author Michael Idov's article on Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin(notes) in the November 2010 issue of GQ magazine -- titled "Ovechkin With Love" -- is a glimpse into Ovechkin's life in Russia that we've only seen through tabloid photos and hastily translated newspaper interviews.
His may be the perfect face of the NHL: broad, broken-toothed, misshapen by countless on-ice collisions -- an affable Slavic caveman with an NHL scoring title, a dazzling highlight reel, and the capital of the Free World in his gloved, bloodstained hand. If only he had a Stanley Cup to go with it. Michael Idov tracks down Alex Ovechkin enjoying the off-season in Moscow -- brooding, training, and finding solace in the arms of his Mother Russia.
It's one of those freewheeling Ovechkin interviews that finds his guard down and his mouth open; whether he's comparing Russian women to American women or spinning tales about his social life in the motherland.
So freewheeling, in fact, that we learned a few things about Ovie, some of which may be new to you as well. Here are 15 things GQ magazine taught us about Alex Ovechkin in its feature profile on the NHL star:
1. Growing up, he was a Pittsburgh Penguins fan.
2. In Russian, an ovechka is a "girl lamb."
While that may be true, Ovechkin has chosen to take that translation in a much more hockey-palatable direction with items like his Olympic Demon Sheep skates.
3. Oveckkin is a non-stop text messenger.
Not only that, but he uses "prodigious smileys." With that, here is our hasty attempt at an Alex Ovechkin smiley:
4. Ovechkin's portraits line the walls of his public school auditorium.
We assume they mean pictures of Ovechkin, and not his impressionist paintings of Russian women waiting to meet him at a club DJ booth.
5. Ovechkin's youth hockey coach's "religious artifact."
According to GQ, Ovechkin broke a
hockey goal post puck with a shot at 10 years old, and his coach "kept the halves as a kind of religious artifact." Interesting, although it pales in comparison to the artifact held by Evgeni Malkin's(notes) youth coach: a shirt with Geno sweat stains that the coach swears resemble the face of Vladislav Tretiak.
6. D.C. wasn't much of a hockey town until Ovechkin came along.
7. His stickwork on the ice is like that of a fencer.
According to GQ: "The more sophisticated type of hockey consumer loves Ovie for his stickwork, which is so nimble as to approach fencing." As opposed to his skating, which is less about fencing than it is about boarding ...
8. Ovechkin is well-versed on the effect women's figures have on international tourism.
As we covered Monday, Ovechkin prefers the figure of a Russian woman to that of an American woman. He said: "Why do you think that is, that when an American goes to Russia for a week, he stays for two extra weeks? Girls! And when a Russian goes to America for a week, he leaves in five days. I'm serious! There's a statistic!" Somehow we missed that in the Lonely Planet guide to D.C.
9. When spotting attractive women on the street in Russia, he identifies them by hollering "BOOM."
When asked for comment, Ovechkin replied "boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom."
10. He is Russia's most eligible bachelor.
Ovechkin was named Russia's most eligible bachelor by the Tatler during the summer. No word if he'll appear on the Russian version of "The Bachelor," in which contestants are eliminated each week during the dramatic Stolichnaya shots ceremony.
11. He endorses extramarital flirtation so long as it goes unseen.
At one point, Ovechkin suggests that Idov pick up some women. When Idov wiggles his wedding ring as a sign of fidelity, Ovechkin replies, "Aw, come on, who's gonna see?" That devil on your shoulder is wearing a red No. 8 sweater, friends.
12. Ovechkin is fond of the word "telochki" for women.
According to Idov, "the word literally means 'calves' and semantically falls somewhere between 'chicks' and 'bitches.'" According to Google Translate, "telochki" is ... "telochki" in English. So we'll take Idov's word on that.
13. He has a "dangerous-looking friend Magomet."
A friend who may or may not be a robot that can transform into a Soviet-era assault rifle. Or the scar-faced twin of Temogam. One of the two.
14a. Ovechkin will taunt reporters with the possibility of getting his seconds ...
As when Ovechkin arrived at a skating rink with two young ladies he picked up at a bar, leading Idov to believe for a moment that one of them was for him.
14b. ... until it's clear that all the telochki belong to Ovie.
Wrote Idov: "[He] takes turns making out with Lera while Olesya documents the proceedings and making out with Olesya while Lera does the documenting." Documenting? Was there an exam afterwards? Wait, don't answer that on second thought.
15. Finally, Ovechkin has in fact won the Stanley Cup ... on "NHL 2K10," the video game on whose cover his image appears.
No word if he continued to use the Penguins in franchise mode after winning the Cup.