52-year-old former NHLer takes up arms to fight for Ukraine

Published March 1, 2022 at 10:39

A former NHLer made headline news on Monday, as Ukrainian national Dmitri Khristich, who played more than 800 NHL games, is currently in Ukraine fighting for his country to protect it against the Russian invasion, according to TSN's Gord Miller

«We are fighting hard, doing our best. We need you to tell the Russian people what is really going on. All they hear is propaganda and lies.»

Khristich, a native of Kyiv, Ukraine, spent 12 seasons in the NHL, also suiting up for the Capitals, Kings, Leafs and Bruins in his career. Now, at 52 years old, he won't just be remembered as a pro hockey player but also as a hero to his country.

In a rather wild coincidence, Khristich wore the #8 in Washington, long before Alexander Ovechkin, a noted Vladimir Putin supporter, had debuted in the NHL. They call Ovi "The Great 8", but perhaps Khristich should assume that title.

One of the most incredible things about Ukraine standing up to Russia is that many of those who are fighting to protect their freedom are not even soldiers, but civilians.

Khristich, two decades after playing his last NHL game, fighting for freedom and defending his country is a story that should receive a lot of attention in the hockey community. His dedication, even at his advanced age, to be serving his country - it's truly inspiring.

Of course, we're all still hoping for a peaceful resolution, but as history has shown us, things tend to get worse before they get better. Our thoughts and prayers are with Khristich and the brave people of Ukraine.

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