WASHINGTON - The Stanley Cup continued its tour around the D.C. region along with the owner of the Washington Capitals and the team’s star player.
The entire city has embraced the Capitals’ championship run and community members in Southeast D.C. had a chance to get an up-close view of the Stanley Cup.
Alex Ovechkin and Ted Leonsis visited Fort Dupont Ice Arena, D.C.’s only full-size public indoor ice arena, with the trophy as it provided an inspiration for young kids with big dreams.
“I was really happy because he took time out of his time to bring himself to us,” young Capitals fan Michael Smith said about Ovechkin. “Since we won, I want to go into the NHL now.”
During the stop, Leonsis and the founder of Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club discussed an issue that has been a topic of discussion in the National Hockey League for decades – diversity. They both hope this title can help bridge the gap between minorities and the NHL while encouraging more children to pursue the sport.
“We have worked for years and years on ‘Hockey is for Everyone,’” said Leonsis. “Take all the work we do with scholarships, the work we do in trying to support youth hockey – it’s exemplary.”
“The Washington Capitals have brought it to a bigger scale,” said Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club founder Neal Enderson. “So with that in mind, you are going to get a bigger audience. Hopefully, the minorities will then see it and have the opportunity and seek to find out how they will be able to become involved.”
Earlier on Friday, Ovechkin and Leonsis brought the Stanley Cup to the Arlington County Police Department for a visit with police personnel.
Afterwards, they visited young patients in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.