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Ovechkin's New Duds

After filing my story for the paper last night, I attended the unveiling of Alex Ovechkin's new 'Street Wear' clothing line at Spice Route, a trendy restaurant and bar in downtown Toronto.

I didn't bring a camera. But lucky for you TSN did.

So what do you think? I'm not embarrassed to say that I'm too old for any of A.O.'s stuff. But I do really like the primary logo, which is a red '8' intertwined with a silhouette of the Kremlin dome.

"I helped come up with the logo," Ovechkin told me. "It's red because red is Russia. I'm excited, I like the stuff."

He also promised to outfit his teammates next season.

I was more than a little stunned by how many reporters and camera crews came out to the event. I bet Ovechkin was, too. But then again, this is Toronto, and Canadians love them some Ovechkin.

(The consensus among the media types, by the way, was that Ovechkin will cruise to the Hart and Pearson tonight.)

One more thing: I'm sure Ted Leonsis will be happy to know there weren't any red, ripped up, low-slung bellbottoms anywhere in sight.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 12, 2008; 10:10 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: City to Honor Ovechkin -- If He Wins
Next: A.O. Snags Hart, Pearson; Boudreau Wins Adams


In Russia, clothe design you!

Posted by: Ben | June 12, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I can honestly say that the one shirt he was wearing wasn't bad at all. Especially considering some of the things we've seen him wear previously. I might actually be compelled to buy a shirt or two. Is there a link to his whole line of clothing??

Posted by: Don-Ald | June 12, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Seriously Tarik

I think you are becoming a little bit too cozy and friendly with the team. Saying he 'perked up' when he saw a familiar face coming toward him. I kept reading to see if he ran into someone like Malkin or Backstrom in the lobby of the hotel. I can only assume that person was you. Why would he perk up seeing you? You are a reporter, nobody special, no different than the AP writers.

You're a beat writer for the Washington Post who covers the Washington Capitals. You're not their PR guy, you don't write for their website, please keep it unbiased.

I love the coverage but I think its time for you to reevaluate your position.

Posted by: JonJon... | June 12, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Someone pissed in JonJon's cereal

Posted by: #16 | June 12, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

JonJon, this isn't Toronto. I'm sure the Caps can recognize all the local writers. There's what, maybe 4 of them, counting Vogel?

Posted by: tallbear | June 12, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse


Are you serious? You should have asked team officials how happy they were with me after I broke the news to THEM that their goaltender was leaving. "Cozy" is the last word I would use to describe my relationship with the Caps.

Posted by: Tarik | June 12, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Jonjon = Senor Poopypants

Sounds like you're jealous of Tarik's access to a genuine superstar who happens to treat people kindly - put a lid on it!

Posted by: Shaggy | June 12, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse


Dont sweat it. You do excellent work. Keep it up and yea i am sure caps mgmt was shocked to hear about olie from you.That shows the players respect you and that they trust your professionalism. Says a lot that olie would break the news to you.

Posted by: O-V-P | June 12, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Who cares if they recognize him

When was the last time we read anything where Tarik asked the tough questions?

Who wants to read about how much patty cake he and OV played in the lobby? Not I.

Ask him, the owners, the other players...real questions. Questions about contracts, salary caps, expectations. Id love to hear what OV expects the organization to put around him now that he sold the Caps his soul.

Is he afraid they will stop answering questions for him? They dont answer questions for him anyway, they are tight lipped about everything.

Pry for an answer, get a real story. Hunt down Iginla and Malkin, see what they think about the MVP race. Find Kane and see what he thinks about the race for the Calder. I saw an interview with him on NHL where he said he expects to win it and he wants to win it.

Heck, ask OV about the issue of mandatory visors and no touch icing that came up at the GM meetings.

If you look back at all the blog posts since the season ended you will find a huge share of debate about rules.
Has he asked Leonis or GMGM about how they feel about the inconsistent officiating -- in relation to goaltender interference, you can bet thats gonna be a BIG offseason issue.

If he has, we havent read it yet.
We all know that each one of us loves the Caps and we love OV, I dont need to read another story about that...real hockey issues, thats one of the only thing that will make more people in this area pay attention.

Posted by: JonJon... | June 12, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, did they say anything to you about that? Or are you trying to play nice with them for a bit? Did you know that Kolzig didnt talk to them before sittin down with him??

Now THATS a story Id like to read.

Posted by: Tommmy | June 12, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

People will complain about the STOOPIDEST things. You are giving Tarik a hard time because he was recognized by the best hockey player in the world? I, myself, am jealous.

Tarik, enjoy Toronto, try your best to cause an international incident (after you file your report tonight of course) and bring us back that monopoly money. Us real fans and regualr bloggers love and aprreciate your work. And will smile if you recognize us when we stalk, i meant walk up to you.

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I got something for ya'll

Id really like Tarik to chime in, if he could.

Yesterday, on the blog, there was talk about trading people to fit in Orpik or Malone.

Tarik, in all honesty, who on the current roster would you trade away and who would you trade them away for? I dont know much about contracts or salary caps and the like but the opinion someone in the know who might have more knowledge of who is a UFA and could be dealt here before July 1 with the intention of signing would be a cool discussion.

Posted by: Tommmy | June 12, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse


I can only imagine what you think of the reporters covering the build up to the Iraq war.

Shut IT

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse


I think it was pretty clear in my orginal Kolzig story that he had not talked to management about his decision.

Posted by: Tarik | June 12, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I know it was in the story, but what I was saying is that did you know this before you even decided to sit down with him. Or did you find this out as you were talking with him?

If you knew before, were you salivating at being able to break a story like that? I would be.

Posted by: Tommmy | June 12, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I get what you're saying.

he didn't seek me out. I arranged to meet up with him, but I didn't know for sure what he was going to tell me until he said it.

Posted by: Tarik | June 12, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Thats awesome Tarik. I think as a reporter you've got to be pretty excited to be the first on something like that. Heck as popular as the NHL Live show and TSN are, they are usually some of the first to get the stories these days.

I can imagine management was pretty upset, probably moreso at Kolzig. Did anyone in the Caps organization express displeasure to you, personally?

Posted by: Tommmy | June 12, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I want an Ovie shirt. I wonder if they come in XL.

Posted by: Jordan | June 12, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible for Ovie to get any cooler? I for one will never get tired of stories about this wonderful young man. Tarik, please keep them coming!

In my opinion Ovie is the best hockey player in the world, but his talent on the ice is only part of why he endears himself to so many. This young man gets it. He understands that being a good person, enjoying yourself, and thinking of others is just as big a priority as skill. In this day and age the more stories that can be printed, videoed, etc. that showcase Alexander Ovechkin for our kids (and adults) to see is invaluable. I know I am biased, but right now I cannot think of a better role model in sports for people to look up to and aspire to be like.

I will be cheering louder than ever tonight when he walks on the stage to receive his much deserved awards. I hope he can hear me all the way in Toronto. (Probably will hear us all since he is a superhero).

Posted by: Kim | June 12, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

JonJon, you've LOST it if you think a discussion of impending changes to hockey rules or officiating in the playoffs is going to capture the attention of the casual or non-fan. You said so yourself, as fans we're here already and we're going to read this stuff regardless. But what's going to spark the imagination of people that DON'T currently follow hockey is exactly this sort of story (think Steinz's Bog posts about Ovie terrorizing people on a Segway): something that illuminates what a fascinating, genuinely likable guy Ovie is. Come for the personality, stay for the hockey.

As for accusing Tarik of lacking credibility because AO said hello to him in Toronto: that's the kind of logical stretch that found WMDs in Iraq...

Posted by: JB | June 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Dave Fay grew tired of the Caps BS, wonder when Tarik will realize his aspirations are NOT to be a beat writer for the Caps, but to use this as a stepping stone for bigger and better reporting.
That said, how about rolling up your sleaves and taking your game to another level ? Instead of sucking up to them, try making them realize you have more impact on DC with the Post than they can imagine.
I'm positive your "buddy" OV would appreciate some heat placed on AZAMAT to FIRE MIDGET and get real with winning more than the SC Title.

Posted by: Chief | June 12, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse


I appreciate your feedback on my job performance. But I would also appreciate if you keep the conversation here focused on hockey and the Caps.

If you want to continue this discussion, just shoot me an email. It's easy to find. Thanks.

Posted by: Tarik | June 12, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, you've finally made it to the big time, you now have haters....

Posted by: AP | June 12, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse


How does a reporter get ANY inside information from the team and players if he's hostile toward them. And I would add that by and large the players and team officials are likeable and friendly people and so seems Tarik.

You don't have to be a jerk to do your job.


Posted by: Sapper | June 12, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Man the heat really brings the stupid out, doesn't it?

Posted by: HolyOlie | June 12, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, thanks for the info on the clothing line. I was looking for any word (well, pictures actually) first thing this morning but nothing had yet hit the press, so I check again after lunch and find you have come through. Thanks much! Did they have any info on where to buy/when the items would be available?

Posted by: Tuvan Hillbilly | June 12, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

So Chief, what off season moves would you like the midget to make?

Posted by: Steve R | June 12, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Yes. Yes it does.

So how many signings get announced tonight? 0, 1, 2 . . . ??

Posted by: honed | June 12, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

whoops, I was responding to HolyOlie's comment that the heat's bringing out the stupid...

Posted by: honed | June 12, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse


I'm guessing 1. #21

Wish it were #'s 52, 38, 91 and 24....

Posted by: Steve R | June 12, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse


Have you heard anymore about ANY contract talks with our RFAs and UFAs?

Any word about the re-signing of Matt Cooke? He, Semin and Fedorov made a great 3rd line.

Should we plan to hear anything at the Award Party tonite about signings?

Thanks for you time

Posted by: CantMissKid | June 12, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Back to caps talk,

How many here think Green is stalling to see what he can get after July 1st?

Posted by: O-V-P | June 12, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Talks are ongoing with the big FA's -- Huet, Green and Fedorov. But nothing is close. I expect Huet and Green to be signed, but not until there is more pressure on both sides to get a deal done. Fedorov is more of a question mark, but the Caps want him and he wants to come back. So I can see that happening, too.

Not so sure about Cooke.

I'll write something for the paper when there is more to report.

I'm going to be out for the next few hours, so I won't be able to respond for a bit.

Posted by: Tarik | June 12, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info tarik. I hope you are right about huet,green, and fedorov. Got to keep the momentum from this past season

Posted by: O-V-P | June 12, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info tarik. I hope you are right about huet,green, and fedorov. Got to keep the momentum from this past season

Posted by: O-V-P | June 12, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse


Please post your location and who is holding a gun on you and making you read Tarik's work. We'll save you. If the aforementioned person holding a gun on JonJon can read this, please stop - Tarik has enough readers, but we appreciate the thought.

Posted by: TheCapitalist | June 12, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse


when will you be able to buy Ovie's new shirt or hat?

Posted by: CA Caps Fan | June 12, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse


NO ONE DOES..GO CHIEF..GO CHIEF... are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it.

Posted by: Chief Fan | June 12, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@Chief Fan

Let me are our big toe, right?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | June 12, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse


I'm going to offer my leadership to this blog

Posted by: Chief Fan | June 12, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

This is a blog - people are entitled to their opinion (if no insults are involved). I am grateful for Tarik's blog and work, but this doesn't mean that anyone that criticises his work as a reporter is a moron.

I'm not sure if Tairk's specific responsibility or duties involves asking the tough questions that JonJon mentioned. But I darn sure would like those questions/issues to be asked and brought up (I'm not saying it's Tarik that should do it). Don't you all?

Posted by: mauree | June 12, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

1) Count me in as one who will likely buy one of OV's shirts. I was pleasantly surprised at how slick they looked.

2) count me in as someone who is glad Tarik REPORTS news rather than create it. A good sports reporter DOES have a rapport with the players they cover. Thats how you get quotes and insight. If they hate you, they say no comment and ignore you. If they are indifferent to you, they're less likely to give you the time of day.

3) count me in as someone who was cracked up by Chief Fan. I don't often laugh out loud at blog comments, but the opening two lines alone were ridiculous enough to crack me up

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | June 12, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Is Chief Fan actually Sgt. Hulka? Or am I mixing up my movies?

OK, OV is a lock to pick up two more pieces of hardware tonight. I give BB even odds, but as much as I'd like to see Nicky win Kane was given the Calder (more or less) in October. He came out of the starting blocks hot while Nicky was "Hanlonized". Any thoughts?

Posted by: Steve R | June 12, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Steve, you are mixing up characters. Chief fan is Bill Murrays character.

OV wins 'em both. Babcock wins, and kane wins. Ted still wears the low cut bell bottoms with his undies hanging out. People vomit, missing the announcement of the signins by GMGM.

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Army training sir!". Got the right movie anyway. Chief is Francis.

Signings? What signings? Any rumors around?

Posted by: Steve R | June 12, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I call, but he won't answer...

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse


Now that is a shame. You have any educated guesses? I'm going with #21.

Posted by: Steve R | June 12, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I think it will be a big one. either 38 or 52

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

sorry to deviate from hockey, but as awesome as Chief Fan's quote was, my Favorite Stripes quote has always been "you can't leave...all our plants are gonna die!"

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | June 12, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, I found where you can get the clothing-- IF-- you live in the Great White North. Hockey Life - (do a search for "RBK Ovechkin" to see the full line) now has his gear available online. The bad news is that this company is located in Laval, Quebec, and when I called them to see if they would ship to the US, they told me that could ship the OV clothing only to Canadian addresses. I asked if they knew any other companies carrying this line, and they told me that they were the exclusive retailer for the clothing. Bummer.

Posted by: Tuvan Hillbilly | June 12, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Stripes was never a great movie for quotes. great movie, but no real memorable quotes. not like some of murrays other movies like Ghostbusters, What About Bob, and Groundhog Day.

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Come on people! We've all been fans on the NHL and the Capitals long enough to know if you ask ANY GM about current contract negotiations, you are going to get a solid no comment. Furthermore if you ask the agent or the player on the other side of the table you are going to get BS.

I like what Tarik writes. The only time he ever made me VERY angry at him was at the season ticket holder party. It was shortly after OV's extension was announced and we had all been waiting a very long time in line to get to meet OV. My 6 year old son was just about to get up there and Tarik pulled a punk move and took a knee next to OV to aask him questions on our time. Thus making a 6 year old wait even longer to meet his hero. I found that really low class. Next time I'll just trip him though.

Hopefully this event is fun tonight. It's a long drive, but I'm obligated since my son heard about the bounce house.

Posted by: Caps423 | June 12, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Is next...


Posted by: JSchon | June 12, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Ghostbusters for me. A friend of mine always argue back and forth about which is more "classic". I say Ghostbusters, he saus Caddyshack

Posted by: Sombrero guy | June 12, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

A nice recap of the clothing launch last night and some pictures in a flicker link over at

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | June 12, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse


Nice find on the clothing line! I'm sure reebok will sell it in the US - its just bad marketing not to sell in DC. That canadian company probably isn't allowed to ship to the US because another US company has exclusive rights to America.

BTW - how great would it be to see Ignila and Malkin show up at the award show tonight wearing the Ovechkin MVP t-shirts. What a great way to stick it to the league.

No way I'm rooting against him, but how insanely driven would OV be next year if he didn't win MVP tonight?

Posted by: Stormblue | June 12, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero guy

Certainly agree with you about Ghostbusters. We use the Twinkie reference to refer to all our worst outages at work. The younger engineers don't get it though.

Posted by: Caps423 | June 12, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse


Svimvare...a classic!

Posted by: NJ | June 12, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

jonjon=chief.........what a loser

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I have a crazy theory:

Chief is actually GMGM, trolling for people to defend him!

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Its likely most of the negative comments on this board come from the same person - caphcky. He just changes his screen name to make it look like there are more dissenters.

Its pretty lame - even Ted has called him out.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 12, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

JonJon- Leave. If you don't like what you read here- GET OUT! This is not a negative board. If you don't think Tarik is going his job as well as he should be, then I suggest that you look yourself in the mirror and evaluate your own situation. That is if you have one.
I for one look forward to reading this blog every day and all it takes is a couple of bad seeds to make Tarik mad and not want to do this anymore. We don't need that.
As stated above "Just Leave"!

Posted by: ovmvpndc | June 12, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Would the Caps announce a big signing tonight? IMO, it would take away from Ovie's honors and his big night. Maybe announcing #21 wouldn't be too bad because it's great news without being the big signings aka Green or Huet, no? Green seemed a happy guy a few weeks ago, if his signing was being announced then I'd expect him to be here for a pconf not on the phone from his vacation!

Posted by: CapsSighting | June 12, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I agree, Make sure not to upset this HAPPY blog, because the Caps have won the Stanley Cup and the team is solid.
Yeah, the Caps Goalie is an elite/franchise player along with their unbelievable defense, oh and the offense is a MACHINE, OV, Semin + Backs.
Please leave and only comment "if" the Caps end up with NO Goalie and No defense.
Thank You
Team Psychologist and Happy coach

Posted by: Chief | June 12, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse


Steve asked early. If you were in the Midgets position, who would you pursue?

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse


The NHL Awards, listed as on VS at 7 PM, are on the NHL Network right now! I don't know if it's a pre-award show only, but the Dish Network guide for VS shows British Open Highlights from now until 10.

Better get to the NHL Network now! Just saw a brief streetside interview with Backstrom.

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm listening to the "red carpet" interviews on XM. The awards start at 7

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The guide on Dish must be wrong. On Dish Network, VS and the Golf Channel share one channel. I suppose it will switch to VS at 7.

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Ovechkin doesn't have a replacement tooth yet. He just had his brief interview with the gap still there. GMGM was there with him; probably easier for Ovie than to decide which of several attractive women to accompany him.

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse


"Lighten up Francis"

Posted by: Steve R | June 12, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like I'm shut out on Dish Network.
VS/GF is showing British Open Highlights, NHL Network is showing a playoff game, Comcast Sportsnet is showing a Caps' playoff game.

So I'm counting on whoever can see or hear the awards to fill me in. Thanks.

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh.. why the hell is VS. replaying the god damn draft lottery instead of the awards?!

Posted by: Jordan | June 12, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Never mind. I just found the standard def VS channel, showing the awards. (The HD VS/Golf channel is showing British Open Highlights from 2003.)

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, god. Now they're showing "Sid the Kid" in the outdoor game, apparently comparing him to Gene Kelly.

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

...and the Pearson Award goes to ... Alex Ovechkin!

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The winner of the Pearson is OVIE!!!!!!!

Posted by: Leeguru | June 12, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

...and the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award goes to ... Bruce Boudreau!!!

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

The Calder Memorial Trophy Rookie of the Year Award goes to Patrick Kane, a expected. Sorry, Nicklas.

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

...and, as predicted by the t-shirt, the Hart Memorial Trophy MVP Award goes to ... Alex Ovechkin!!!

Posted by: Joe B | June 12, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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