Alexander Ovechkin has body issues


Alexander Ovechkin has body issues

By Jon Fucile

In general, hockey players are like machines. One has to train hard to take the type of beating a hockey player takes night in and night out over the course of a season. Occasionally, once the summer hits you may start to eat a bit more than usual and exercise less which can lead to extra roundness.

Such is the case with Washington Crapitals captain Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin returned to America looking a little plumper than usual and the internet was on fire with speculation and fat jokes.

Here is what he actually looked like:

But here is what people acted like he looked like:

Sure, he had a bit of a beer gut, but nothing to be too concerned about. He was probably just over celebrating yet another second round exit for the Capitals. However, a summer full of criticism has led to a few problems for Ovechkin and now he is dealing with body issues.

In an exclusive interview with Wicked Good Sports magazine, Washingtons favorite winger opened about his struggle with his weight.

You see all these hockey players on the cover of ESPN and Sports Illustrated and they look so skinny and in shape, said the Capitals star. It just hurts because not everyone can look like that and people like me who carry a little extra weight are ostracized.

As the comments ate away at him inside he began trying to eat away the pain, going on long eating binges and eating everything in sight.

I just couldnt stop. My only friends were Ben and Jerry, the Russian superstar said. Every time someone said something hurtful about my figure I ran to them for comfort. The Keebler Elves helped too.

Ovechkin finally reached his low point one day at the beach. In an effort to get away from all the Tweets, emails and phone calls about his expanding waist line, Ovechkin decided to spend a day sitting at the beach, listening to the sound of the waves and just relaxing but his day was anything but.

My relaxing day quickly turned into a nightmare, Ovechkin told us. All the pretty people were pointing and laughing at me because I was fat. I couldnt take it. I tried to get up and leaveand my chair came with me.

It was at that point that he had finally had enough and decided to do something.

I tried out for the new season of The Biggest Loser, he said. Originally I thought it was for people on really overrated teams that flame out in the playoffs getting together to work out but it turned out to be so much more.

Ovechkin was put through the ringer by a pair of frustrated sisters who quickly whipped him into shape.

They had a lot of free time this summer since they had no celebrating to do and they were in really, really good shape from running away from the Bruins so much, Ovechkin said. They worked me really hard.

Ovechkin eventually won the title of biggest loser en route to losing an astounding 253 pounds and he is now physically, but more importantly mentally, ready for the new season.

I think throughout this whole ordeal Ive learned a lot, Ovechkin told us. Most importantly though Ive learned to just be happy with me and Ive learned that my body is okay just the way it is. Even without any Cups.

Dont worry buddy. Youre beautiful. Youre beautifuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul.

But not really.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is trading for Paul George worth the risk?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is trading for Paul George worth the risk?

SUBSCRIBE iTunes | Stitcher | RSS

0:41 - Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles recap their thoughts on drafting Jayson Tatum and trade rumors involving the Celtics.

6:21 - Ian Thomsen joins BST to discuss if it would be worth trading for Paul George as a one-year rental and if there would be a chance he could still around long-term if traded to Boston.

11:13 - Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Rick Porcello’s outing, the Red Sox offense coming to life, and Doug Fister being claimed by the Red Sox. 

15:10 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely look back at the Celtics/Nets trade, what the assets have turned into, and if Danny Ainge has done a good job turning those assets into players. 

Haggerty: Bruins playing it pretty safe at the NHL Draft

Haggerty: Bruins playing it pretty safe at the NHL Draft

CHICAGO – As opening nights go at the NHL Draft, Friday night was a bit of a ho-hum affair for the Boston Bruins at the United Center home of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Bruins went the safe route by drafting a smooth, defensive-minded defenseman with the 18th overall pick when they selected Finnish product Urho Vaakenainen, and in doing so left more dynamic forwards like Kristian Vesalainen and Kailer Yamamoto still on the draft board for other teams to claim as their own. It was a bit of a curious choice given how many defensemen the Bruins already have in the prospect pipeline, but the lack of strength in the draft class seemed to lead teams to carve their own paths looking for players.

MORE: Bruins select defenseman Urho Vaakanainen with No. 18 pick

The 6-foot-1, 188-pounder clearly has miles to go offensively despite his smooth skating and solid passing skills, but there’s also a consideration that the teenager has been playing in the men’s league in Finland for the last couple of seasons. It makes things a little more difficult to project for the Finn D-man, but the Bruins believe there is some upside to his offensive game given the skills, the hockey IQ and the considerable confidence that the player has in his own game.

“His gap control and skating ability are really good. He’s obviously played in the Finnish Elite League at a very young age for one and a half years now and he’s played on the big stage at the world juniors. We feel like there’s a lot of upside for a 200-foot player that gets back on pucks, and then can transition them back out. Being able to cover ice is an important part of the game, and it continues to evolve in that direction,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney, who indicated Vaakenainen will play in North America in 2018-19 after fulfilling his contractual obligations in Finland. “We tracked what he did on offense at the junior league level prior to him jumping to the elite league, and it lines up pretty well with other elite players that made the jump to that level.

“It’s a valid question and whether he gets put into those [offensive] situations this year is what we’re excited about with his [Finnish] team moving forward.”

While Vaakenainen sounded surprised the Bruins selected him after only a single meeting at the NHL scouting combine, Sweeney said that Boston’s head scout in Finland has enough history with the family to vouch for the kid’s makeup.

So while it’s far from a sexy pick and the Bruins could have tried to hit a home run with an 18th overall selection in a mediocre draft, the B’s will also get some time before anybody is ready to label the Finnish blueliner a boom or a bust.

The rest of the draft night didn’t add up to much for the B’s, however. They made the selection of Vaakenainen after strongly considering dropping down in the first round, and in doing so lost one of the better trade chips in the form of their 2017 first round pick. There were discussions with Minnesota about Marco Scandella and a few trade feelers to other clubs that might listen on a D-man, but the Bruins now have to hit the reset button on trade discussions for left-shot defensemen or top-6 left wings.

Perhaps Scandella’s $4 million per season salary was an issue for the Bruins, or maybe the Bruins didn’t want to give up their first round pick for a 27-year-old D-man coming off a so-so season with the Wild. Either way, there wasn’t enough momentum for the Bruins to get a trade done with a bevy of defensemen rumored to be available if the offer is good enough.

“I was on the record saying that we’d be offering our first round pick for target-specific players, and we did do that,” said Sweeney. “I don’t blame teams for not necessarily wanting to go through with it, so we went ahead with a player we wanted with our own pick. We continue to build what we think is a good group of guys moving forward.

“There are a couple of areas we’d like to address and get better. We’re trying to help our team currently. Certainly Brandon [Carlo] jumped into our lineup and we hope Charlie [McAvoy] will carry over what he did, and we have other players that will push. We have six returning defensemen we feel good about and we’ll certainly push from underneath, but it’s an area we’ll continue to address. We have some forwards that we also hope will come online, but we’ll never stop exploring and trying to improve our club.”

So let’s sum it all up after a week of additions and subtractions from the Original Six organization: The Bruins added a decidedly vanilla defenseman in the first round of the NHL Draft that might be a simple stay-at-home guy, and they weren’t able to muster any kind of deals for a D-man or winger to enhance the NHL roster. On the other hand, they didn’t give up much over the week as well and they didn’t do much at all to harm a solid roster that looked like they were finally on the right track pushing into the playoffs last season.

The Bruins could be in store for an action-packed Day Two of the draft on Saturday full of promising prospects and bountiful trades, but it sure feels like the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago isn’t going to be a very memorable one for the Black and Gold.