Thursday September 28, 2023

Ovechkin’s Chase for Gretzky Film Debuts During All-Star Weekend

  • New ‘GR8TNESS’ to premiere Saturday before the NHL All-Star Game.
  • Film will chronicle ‘greatest pure goal scorer ever,’ says ESPN.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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As the Great Eight chases the Great One, Disney will broadcast a documentary on Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin recently became only the third player in NHL history to score more than 800 career goals. 

Dubbed “GR8TNESS” after his uniform number, the one-hour special will chronicle his chase for Wayne Gretzky’s NHL career scoring record.

The documentary will premiere Saturday before ESPN’s coverage of the 2023 NHL All-Star Game on ABC (2 p.m. ET). ESPN collaborated with the Capitals’ Monumental Productions to produce the film on the 13-time All-Star. Details:

  • The ESPN documentary will include historical footage, special access, and sit-down interviews with the 37-year-old Ovechkin and the 62-year-old Gretzky.
  • ESPN’s John Buccigross will also host a roundtable discussion. Analyst Rick DiPietro will also discuss Ovechkin’s career.   
  • The special will air nationally on ABC nationally replay across multiple platforms, including ESPN, ESPN+, E60, and Hulu.

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“We had great access to Alex Ovechkin for this project and were able to capture him as he continues to pursue a record that almost no one thought was approachable,” said Andy Tennant, ESPN’s executive producer of original content.  

“This is the story of arguably the greatest pure goal scorer ever—from his rivalry with superstar who entered the league the same day, Sidney Crosby, to his relationship with the man he is in pursuit of, Wayne Gretzky, to his impressive longevity. Viewers will come to understand how one of the all-time greats has approached his craft, what it takes, game after game, season after seasons—all the pressure, all the passion.”

Added Monumental president Zach Leonsis: “From the moment Alex has stepped onto the ice, we have witnessed history before our eyes, and we’re confident ESPN and their industry-leading team will encapsulate that in this documentary.”

On Dec. 23, Ovechkin scored his 802nd career goal, passing Gordie Howe for second place on the NHL’s all-time list. 

With 812 career goals, the Moscow native has a solid chance of surpassing Gretzky’s record of 894 if he stays healthy.

This season, Ovechkin has scored 32 goals in 52 games, potentially putting him on pace for another 50-goal season. That would be the left winger’s record 10th, passing Gretzky and Mike Bossy for most in NHL history. 

As Ovie himself says in the doc: “I’m not done yet.”

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