Alex Ovechkin has made a lot of fans based on what he does on the ice. But this weekend, he did something off of it that is sure to endear him to people beyond the Washington Capitals' fan base.
Following through on a promise he'd made to a 10-year-old Capitals fan weeks earlier, Ovechkin arranged to meet with her several times Sunday: first before the team's practice, then before their pre-season game against Carolina, and finally, for a sushi dinner after the Caps' 5-2 win. See photos of their time together here, and video here.
The young fan, Howard County, Maryland native Ann Schaab, met Ovechkin while with the American Special Hockey Association, a group that gives developmentally disabled individuals a chance to play the sport. The young girl, who has Down syndrome, was enthralled to meet the Capitals captain and asked him on a date at the time. Ovechkin couldn't grant her request immediately, but he and the team arranged to make good on the promise and the results are pure magic.
If you haven't watched the video, watch it. If you have, watch it again. It's a credit to Ovechkin's good nature, the power athletes have on fans – and how good hockey players are at giving back.