WASHINGTON — While the season may be on pause, hockey isn't stopping. Social media and virtual meetings -- and yep, games, too -- have given us an inside look into the lives of many NHL players, let us hear from past and current players alike.
Now, Caps fans can watch two greats give their first-ever, sit-down joint interview.
Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky will be chatting with NBC Sport's Kathryn Tappen in a virtual meeting as part of the NHL'S #HockeyAtHome, a weekly video series that gives former and current coaches and players chances to chat with broadcasters and celebrities.
The Great One and the Great Eight will discuss everything from the current state of the NHL to Ovechkin’s pursuit of Gretzky's career goals record, as well as their plans to compete in the NHL 20 benefit for coronavirus relief game on April 22.
The funds from the game, which will be streamed on the Caps Twitch Channel, support COVID-19 relief in both Edmonton and the Greater Washington region.
While it might be their first-ever joint interview, it's not the first time the two have shared their respect and support for each other. Gretzky's 894 career goals record was long thought to be unbeatable, but Ovechkin has 706 career goals at 34 years old. He has the potential to catch up.
Even Gretzky agreed, telling NBC Sports that Ovechkin's drive and ability to work hard is "great for hockey."
"I don’t think there's any doubt in my mind that he has a great chance to do that. He plays on a good team with good players... and most importantly, Alex plays hard every single night.," Gretzky said. "And to me, if you don't play hard every night, those are kind of records you can't break. And he does that."
Ovechkin -- who on Feb. 22 became the eighth member of the NHL's 700-goal club -- is just two goals away from his ninth career 50-goal season. That would tie Mike Bossy and Gretzky for the most in league history, and Ovechkin made it clear that Gretzky's vision of the game was admirable to him.
"His vision of the game, how he controlled the game," Ovechkin told NBC Sports. "How he made different players better around him... that’s a special talent… He was not that physical, but he was smarter on the ice."
Kyley Schultz is a digital editor at WUSA9, covering everything from DMV politics to house fires and the Capitals. You can follow her on Twitter @KyleyBSchultz