Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/18/06 at 08:42 PM ET
A couple of weeks ago, I waited for Alex Ovechkin. We were supposed to meet at 7:30 p.m., but a late flight and photo shoot gone long set the meeting back a couple of hours.... Ovechkin arrives at the hotel in a bright pink t-shirt that reads "Love Metal" and jeans with ripped patches. He apologizes for being late, even though it's not his fault, and makes sure his newly acquired, signed Sidney Crosby jersey is taken care of. Then he is ready to go. He is visibly tired, but he sits down and never mentions that he has plans or would like to be somewhere else. But I know better. It's a little past 9:30 p.m. He's a 20-year-old professional athlete in Manhattan. He must know someone in New York City and, even if he doesn't, he has plans. He better. But still, he doesn't rush. He doesn't look at his watch. He works hard to find the right English words to answer the questions. And sometimes, it seems, he works hard to keep from saying too much or something that might be misinterpreted.more
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