(Nick Wass/AP)


Alex Ovechkin recently turned 30 and to celebrate he got a — ship? Nope. Contrary to what everyone seemed to hear through his thick Russian accent at a training camp press conference on Friday, The Great Eight actually said he got a sheep. Yes, the barnyard animal.

And that’s not even the funniest part of the story. The best part is that it took reporters a long time to figure out he said “sheep” and not “ship,” which resulted in some pretty great confusing, but humorous moments with people wondering about the ship/sheep’s dimensions and so on.

Finally, though, after several minutes and a tweet that linked to a video showing the gift — which looked like it’d have a lot of trouble floating on water — reporters at the press conference finally figured it out.


So, now that we’ve figured that out, there’s only one question left: Why did Ovechkin get a sheep for his birthday?

The sheep, dressed in a Russia jersey, was presented to him this week by Russia’s Zvezda Channel news crew with whom Ovechkin’s spoken to before.

During that previous interview, anchor Rossiyana Markovskaya reminds Ovechkin that he had wished for a stuffed animal sheep for a gift, so the Zvezda crew did him one better — they bought him a real-life sheep, which now, according to NHL.com reporter Katie Brown, is happily vacationing at Ovechkin’s dacha, or country home.

As for the sheep’s name, Ovechkin rejected Zvezda’s suggestion of “Goal” and instead when with “Rossiya,” which of course is Russian for “Russia” because Oveckhin loves his country and he, apparently, loves his sheep. It’s unclear whether he loves ships or not, though.