Alex Ovechkin’s offseason was quiet. He wasn’t photographed partying with Russian club dancers on a yacht in Turkey, and there were no images of him that sparked a debate about his fitness level. This summer was different. This summer, Ovechkin served as the most enthusiastic supporter — and occasional equipment bag lackey — for his now fiancee, professional tennis player Maria Kirilenko.
The routine took a little getting used to, Ovechkin admitted recently, what with going to sleep early only to rise early the next day for a practice. It wasn’t how he usually spent his time away from hockey, but it offered him a different perspective, because for the first time he was supporting a professional athlete rather than competing himself.
The calmer lifestyle, he realized, wasn’t so bad.