More strong journalism in a spring that’s already offered an abundance of it:
Dan Steinberg recorded an impressive testimonial from Alexander Ovechkin’s parents as part of his front-page portrait of the Gr8 from this past Sunday. As endorsements of hockey towns go, it doesn’t get much better than having the parents of the planet’s greatest player express appreciation for their son being selected and developed right here:
“Tatiania and I are very happy that Alex was drafted by the Washington Capitals,” Mikhail said, gesturing to his wife. “We’re very happy with the organization and the ownership, and with where he is right now, and with where the organization is right now. We’re very happy who he’s surrounded by.”
The elder Ovechkins went on the detail the ongoing and frankly loving assistance they’re offered by Capitals’ owner Ted Leonsis. It’s an extraordinary family, and Washington hockey fans are beyond lucky to have had them arrive in our city and transform the fate of this franchise as they have. Speaking of fans, Mikhail Ovechkin had a parting warm word for them as well:
“We would also like for you to mention, we have a special group of fans that is constantly present during Alex’s practices,” he said, referring to the team’s fan club. “They support him, and they have some sort of small trophy that they’re giving to Alex at the beginning of the season for the prior season, for his performance. They are very loyal to him and are there during his morning skates.”
Steinberg offers a queer qualifier for his blog file — “OK, this might not be great journalism.” Actually, we think it is. Is it news that the parents of the world’s greatest hockey player believe that their son is uniquely positioned to succeed by being in Washington, and that a half decade after he was drafted by the Caps they articulate, effusively, gratitude for that selection? Damned right it is. But more importantly, this blog file represents the best of what new media can bring to contemporary coverage of our game: a very fresh angle, blissfully free of old school conventions and formulas. Steinberg the pro journalist wasn’t the story or even the storyteller here, his subjects were, and he got out of the way and allowed the hearts of some hockey hearts to heap praise on our town and the people running our team.
When did you last hear the parents of a pro sports prodigy speak as the Ovechkins recently did with Dan?
More terrific blogging: up North a bit, the Patriot News’ Tim Leone this week, as is his annual ritual this time of year, gives his blog readers a crystal ball portrait of the looming AHL postseason. No surprise this year; he says the Bears will repeat as Calder Cup champions.
“The talent and resolve the Bears showcased during the greatest regular season in the club’s 72-year AHL history isn’t going to disappear in the postseason. A club that hasn’t lost consecutive regulation games since October makes for a supremely formidable foe in a best-of-seven series.”