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Ovi hits the Big Apple

by Shawn P. Roarke

Someday soon fans are going to be able to buy Nike shoes endorsed by Alex Ovechkin -- but he spent part of his time in Manhattan for the NHL Player Media Tour making a pair of his own.

Ovechkin might have met some famous people and attended a swanky party or two, but he was clearly most excited about his trip to the Niketown store on Thursday.

"It was so sick, so sick," Ovechkin said. "I was so excited to be there. I made my shoes. It is sick. I just order, like you can build your shoe. They are just going to be mine."

He "built" a pair of shoes through the custom NikeID program. They are black and red and say "AO GR8" on the backs.

"Like my license plate," said Ovechkin, referencing the plate on his Mercedes SL 65 Black series.

Ovechkin spent part of Wednesday night at a party at the Versace Boutique. He spent some time there mingling with other players and various celebrities, and a picture of him posing with Kevin Connolly of "Entourage" fame and a well-known hockey (and in particular New York Islanders) fan.

"I know him but I don't watch 'Entourage.' It was nice to meet famous people, new guys," Ovechkin said. "I spent like 30 minutes there. It was nice to see all the players and the guys. It was nice."

What Ovechkin wears to events like the Versace party always seems to make for interesting fodder in the blogosphere. While other players were in more traditional apparel for that setting, Ovechkin showed up in a Nike T-shirt and jeans.

He was also sporting a nice watch, which the blog Capital Games at reported to be a Hublot watch that costs $238,000. Ovechkin said he's gotten use to people writing about and caring about what he wears.

"It is me. I don't care," Ovechkin said. "I have my watch, I have my jeans, my cell phone. I have underwear. I think it is good. I like to have good stuff on me. It is not a secret."

After Ovechkin was done meeting with members of the media in midtown Manhattan, he planned on an excursion to Queens to take in a match at the U.S. Open before heading back to Washington.

Several other NHL players who were here for the two days went to Flushing to watch some tennis Thursday night, and you can count Ovechkin among the many NHL players who are tennis fans.

"Yeah, of course," Ovechkin said. "Tennis is very popular [in Russia]. Of course [I like Roger] Federer but I think we're going to see [Rafael] Nadal. I'm pretty excited to see his play, and maybe I'm going to have a chance to meet him after."

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