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Published on April 17th, 2020 | by Danielle


Gretzky vs Ovechkin: The Virtual Game of the Century

In the late 1970s, a young man named Wayne was traded to the World Hockey Association’s Oilers from the Indianapolis Racers. He would go on to score 50 goals in 39 games during the 1981-82 season. He was 20 years old.

Canadian Wayne Gretzky is known as the Great One, as well as the greatest hockey player ever. Holding 61 NHL records, Gretzky has scored a total of 894 career goals, assisted on 1,963 goals, and scored a total of 2,857 points in 1,487 games. And that doesn’t take into account the countless records he broke in peewee hockey.

Gretzky was known as an artist on the ice who was impossible to catch, or stop, controlling the game from behind the net. During his career, he also represented Canada in more than 60 games, including the Olympics in Nagano. Gretzky retired in 1999 and very few have come close to the Great One’s record.

Until Russian Alex Ovechkin, the number one pick during the 2004 draft, scored 52 goals during his first season. Growing up in Russia, the terrifying Ovi to fans, is the son of Tatyana Ovechkina, the greatest Soviet basketball player of her generation and a pro soccer player. His mother instilled in him a demand to be great while his brother Sergei, who passed at 25, was the person who introduced him to hockey.

Ovechkin has had seven 50-goal seasons and has scored 1,152 points. He is only 188 goals short of Gretzky’s standing 891.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, most professional sports have been put on hold. Many parts of the country are beginning to suffer from food shortages and medical supply shortages. Consumer spending on restaurants went up over 4% in 2019 alone and that doesn’t include take out, delivery, or pickup. Unfortunately, this trend is not expected to continue in 2020 as countless nonessential businesses shutter their doors — or their stadiums.

To do their part to help during this crisis, Gretzky and Ovechkin will face off on the virtual ice of the Xbox video game “NHL 2020” in order to raise money for the Edmonton Food Bank and Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation’s “Feeding the Frontlines” fund, which provides meals for those in the medical community. Ovechkin will just have to wait to try to beat Gretzky in real life.

The two men will face off with one partner each. In Gretzky’s case, he’s chosen his 19-year-old son while Ovechkin has teamed with John “JohnWayne” Casagranda. “JohnWayne” was the first esports professional signed to the NHL in November when he joined the MSE gaming arm.

The match will be broadcasted on the Capitals twitch on April 22nd at 8 p.m. ET.

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