Some friendships last a lifetime, and that appears to be the case for Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby. As the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars hit the ice for the pre-game skate on Friday, the two met for a heartwarming reunion.
The Capitals captain hugged and caught up with his former teammate, who is making his first career start against his former club and seeing his old teammates for the first time since 2020.
All love between Ovi & Holtby ❤️️ pic.twitter.com/Xd3RxbkKhs
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 29, 2022
“It’s the people. Hockey’s obviously what we do, but there’s a lot outside of it. The relationships you make and the people that helped you in different ways, you’re kind of forever grateful for,” Holtby said earlier on Friday, “That’s where my family grew up, it’s home for me. It’s pretty special to see these people again and catch up.
“It’s kind of strange to have such a long break from playing my last game to playing against them,” Holtby noted. “So it’s been obviously a lot of time to reflect, and I think new situations, you learn some things and you also appreciate things more that you may have taken for granted before. Just the connections you make with the city, the people. Anyone can say that, when you move you reflect and kind of take things in a new light and appreciate the small things a little more.”
The two also took a photo together.
Frame it. 📸 pic.twitter.com/EDOxztJhwT
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 29, 2022
Over 10 years and 468 games with the Capitals, Holtby went 282-122-46 with a .916 save percentage and 2.53 GAA. He left Washington to sign with Vancouver in the offseason but had his contract bought out at the end of the year. He then signed a one-year deal in Dallas for 2021-22 and has been strong for the Stars this season with a .917 SV% and 2.60 GAA.
READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals Tweak Line-Up Vs. Stars
Ovechkin, meanwhile, is having one of his best seasons in his 17th year in the NHL. Through 42 games, Ovechkin has 29 goals and 58 points and sits near the top of the NHL leaderboard. He is seven goals away from passing Jaromir Jagr for third on the NHL’s all-time goals list. He is also one assist away from passing Sergei Zubov for the third-most by a Russian-born player, which would be an interesting milestone to pass as Zubov’s No. 56 is retired on Friday.