Alexander Ovechkin (LW, Capitals) and Evgeni Malkin (C, Penguins) were friends, teammates and roommates during the 2006 Olympic Games. Recently, however, rumors have swirled around NHL circles that some type of altercation had occurred between the two Russians and they were no longer friends. Some fans have interpreted the fierce rivalry that takes place on the ice between two of the top players in the NHL whenever their teams meet as proof of their animosity. Ovi and Geno (as he is affectionately known around the Pens locker room) have each made comments on occasion that alluded to an ongoing air of hostility.
It appears their personal rivalry may be put to rest this weekend during All-Star festivities. Washington Post Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir posted a picture of Ovi and Geno sharing what appears to be a warm handshake, and Ovi himself mentioned the pic in a recent Twitter update. He seems pleased to at least be making progress toward restoring relations with his former teammate. Now is a good time for the two NHL superstars to restore their friendship, as they'll likely be teammates again for their home country in the future.
Let's hope we'll only see professional rivalry between Ovi and Geno as they lead their teams through the second half of the 2009 NHL season.