Alex Ovechkin recalls 2015 NHL All-Stars conspired to deny him brand-new car

In 2015, the NHL All-Star Draft in Columbus, Ohio, turned into a memorable event filled with spontaneity and a quest for a sensible compact car for Alex Ovechkin. As 42 of the greatest hockey players gathered around pub tables, sipping cheap beer, they received a unique pregame speech from NBC Sports producers emphasizing the unpredictability of live TV.

The All-Star Draft, a made-for-TV spectacle initiated in 2011, featured two sets of captains building fantasy teams from a pool of All-Star peers. The 2015 edition marked the return of the gimmick after a hiatus caused by a lockout and an Olympic break. The producers aimed to create an entertaining show, with some tweaks, including no longer singling out the last selection.

St Louis Blues v Washington CapitalsKnew they’d screw me – Alex Ovechkin recalls 2015 NHL All-Stars conspired to deny him brand-new a car

In 2015, the NHL All-Star Draft in Columbus, Ohio, turned into a memorable event filled with spontaneity and a quest for a sensible compact car for Alex Ovechkin. As 42 of the greatest hockey players gathered around pub tables, sipping cheap beer, they received a unique pregame speech from NBC Sports producers emphasizing the unpredictability of live TV.

The All-Star Draft, a made-for-TV spectacle initiated in 2011, featured two sets of captains building fantasy teams from a pool of All-Star peers. The 2015 edition marked the return of the gimmick after a hiatus caused by a lockout and an Olympic break. The producers aimed to create an entertaining show, with some tweaks, including no longer singling out the last selection.

The draft proceedings took an unexpected turn when Alex Ovechkin, with a desire for a sensible compact car, lobbied to be the last one picked. His antics, including hiding behind a sign, taking selfies and crashing interviews, added a playful element to the night. However, Team Foligno denied him the coveted car, picking him second-to-last.

According to The Athletic, the discussion between Nick Foligno, one of the captains and Alex Ovechkin went as follows:

Ovechkin: I tried to be last. Tried to tell captain. But I knew 100 percent I was not going to be last.

Foligno: We picked him second-to-last. …. “Nah, you can buy a car if you need a car. You’re not getting a car.”

Ovechkin: I knew they’d screw me. I wanted that car.

Foligno: It was good for him. Humble him a little bit, y’know?

Ovechkin: I have cars. I didn’t need a car. … I wanted to give it to charity.

Foligno: That made me feel a little worse, but you can still donate a car to charity. I’m sure there’s somebody in Washington that would happily set that up.

Eventually, Alex Ovechkin teamed up with a dealership to raffle off a Honda Accord, with the proceeds benefiting the American Special Hockey Association.

Apart from Alex Ovechkin, an open bar captured Foligno’s attention

Foligno, then an emerging star for the hometown Blue Jackets, recalled the unexpected element. The presence of an open bar was unique, something that Foligno described as some of the best TV the NHL had ever seen.

“What (the producers) didn’t anticipate was the liquid courage that was involved in the process. Which I think made for some of the best TV, probably, that the NHL has ever seen.”

The 2015 NHL All-Star Draft, despite its occasional sloppiness, was deemed a successful off-ice entertainment for the league. The format was mothballed for years, and replaced by the three-on-three tournament.

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