What do Michelle Obama, Pauly D from "Jersey Shore" and Michael Vick have in common?
They all have a connection to one of the NHL's most intriguing tweeters.
Midway through the 2008-09 season, an NHL official urged Alexander Ovechkin to set up a Twitter account. Ovechkin was well on his way to a second MVP award, and the NHL hoped a greater connection between the Russian scoring machine and his fans could help the league. For 13 days, Ovechkin worked with his IMG advisers to blast out tweets about the All-Star Game and his appreciation of fans. Then Ovechkin took an indefinite leave of absence from Twitter.
"thanks everybody - I think I take a break from this for a bit but you never know when I come back - see you then" --@ovi8, Jan. 30, 2009.
After leaving his Twitter account dormant for two years, Ovechkin notified his IMG advisers in March that he had a new Verizon smartphone and was ready to start tweeting again. On his own.
"ok twitter friends im back!!!!" --@ovi8, March 2, 2011.
In his one-month return, fans have seen a colorful feed of birthday wishes, soccer references, personal shout-outs and a noticeable improvement in English. But Ovechkin’s best Twitter attribute is his use of the upload photo tool. Here is a timeline of the top eight Twitter photos posted by Alexander the Great, along with his accompanying tweet:
In the 2011 All-Star Game draft, Ovechkin was taken by Team Staal in the second round. Sixteen rounds later, Ovi got a kick out of Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel being the last man on the draft board. Little did Ovechkin know, Kessel won a new car and $20,000 for a charity of his choice for being the final pick.
3/4: Me and sema!!!27 now,wery old!hahaha
With the Capitals riding a three-game win streak into a two-day layoff, Ovechkin could have gone all out to celebrate fellow Russian Alexander Semin’s 27th birthday. Instead, he bought two Party City balloons designed for a 2-year-old and 7-year-old's birthday party. And he once again showed why he has the most beautiful set of front teeth in the NHL.
3/5: Good time
On a trip to Miami, Ovi reminds us why the Florida Panthers have a fan base of 10. Who in their right mind would make the half-hour trek from the beaches of Miami to inland Sunrise, Florida, in weather like this?
3/12: Caps babe!!!
I would have considered Ovi more of a Situation kind of guy, given his brute strength, but apparently not. Notice the sea of fans in the background. Ovechkin literally stops Pauly D’s concert to take a picture of the "Jersey Shore" star with his jersey.
3/20: Me and Michael Vick...
On May 25, 2010, a YouTube video surfaced of Ovechkin adopting a 2-year-old German Shephard. Alex named the dog "Ghera" in Russian, translating in English to "Hera," the wife of Zeus in Greek mythology. For Ovi to avoid a lightning bolt from Zeus, he better hope Ghera doesn't see him posing with her nemesis.
3/23: Country BBQ time hahahaha with my best friends!misha and olga...
Where does a Russian hockey player take his hometown friends on their visit to America? Somewhere with good barbecue food, obviously. Would you three like some Russian dressing with that?
4/1: With the First Lady!
No, this is not an April Fool's joke. Ovechkin really did take a picture with the First Lady. My question: Was he out to dinner with Michelle Obama or did he just happen to see the First Lady in a fancy Washington restaurant. I'm imagining Ovi just walking over to the table and asking for a picture with Mrs. Obama. And to think the Cold War was still going on 20 years ago.
Two nights after dining with a White House resident, Ovi sported gang signs with Lil Wayne and Drake. While it is unclear if this pic was taken before or after Lil Wayne's concert, the rapper doesn’t show any fear in letting Ovi take a half-naked picture of him. In fact, he promised Ovechkin a No. 8 tattoo if he could find a spot on his body.