Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Meet Washington Capitals Stanley Pup, Alex Ofetchkin

The 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals kicked-off last night, and although we will not see Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin in the Stanley Cup final this year, his puppy counterpart is sure to make an impact on the ice. Melon (aka Alex Ofetchkin) represented the Caps at the NHL’s first ‘Stanley Pup’ which took place Friday evening. The NHL partnered with the non-profit Petco Love to put on the adorable competition between rescue dogs.

Meet Washington Capitals Stanley Pup Alex Ofetchkin

Alex Ofetchkin comes by way of Wolf Trap Animal Rescue (WTAR) in Fairfax, Virginia. WTAR is a veterinarian-led, non-profit whose mission focuses on rescuing high-risk animals from euthanasia, neglect, and abuse. The nine-week Heeler mix is listed as a 14-pound forward on his official roster card. Moreover, the card states he is a “believer in the power of Pawsitivity,” a play on the Capitals’ “Power of Friendship” mantra this season.

All 16 NHL teams that qualified for the post-season were represented by a pup, many of which are available for adoption in their city. In addition, each four-legged friend was named after a player on the team they are appearing for.

“We are honoured that the NHL will spotlight these all-star pups,” said Petco Love President Susanne Kogut in a May 28 press release. “Everyone can be a champion in the life of a pet. When you adopt a pet from your local shelter, everyone wins!”

“At the NHL, we love supporting great causes and the opportunity to produce a program that finds homes for rescue dogs is so fulfilling,” also said NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “The show promises to be great fun and we can’t wait for our participating puppies Nathan McKibble, Joe Pawvelski, Alexander Ofetchkin, and many more to hit our Stanley Pup rink.”

“I’m so proud to launch this canine sporting spectacular with the NHL, and so grateful for their passion in supporting adoption. The show is sure to be the biggest night of the year for dog-loving hockey fans,” added creator and producer Michael Levitt. “The cuteness overload is going to be off the charts! I can’t wait to show viewers how special rescue dogs are and how profoundly they enhance our lives when we welcome them into our families.”

The show featured special appearances by celebrities Kristin Chenoweth, Mickey Guyton, and Miranda Lambert. In addition, the Capitals’ very own Alexa Landestoy was reporting rinkside.

Capitals Partnership with WTAR

The Capitals and WTAR have long been community partners. Each year, the Capitals release their Caps Canine Calendar. The fun calendar features photos of Capitals players posing with pooches. Moreover, the proceeds from each $20 calendar sold benefit WTAR and the MSE Foundation.

According to, the sale of Caps Canine Calendars have generated more than $600,000 for local animal shelters.

This year’s calendar featured Caps favourites Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Charlie Lindgren, and Dylan Strome, among others, posing with their own dogs. Furthermore, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, and Sonny Milano took photos with adoptable dogs from WTAR. It is always nice to see the players having fun while giving back to their community they represent. The photos for the calendar were taken by Virgil Ocampo of Virgil Ocampo Photography. Paige Dowd, Annie van Riemsdyk and Taylor Wilson served as art directors for the project.

In 2020, the Wilson family rescued an eight-week-old lab mix from WTAR. The pup, who the couple affectionately named Halle, was rescued from an animal cruelty situation in Mississippi. Halle made an appearance with Wilson in this year’s calendar.

To meet the pooches featured in the ‘Stanley Pup’ and learn more about dogs available for adoption in your area, visit

Main photo credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message