Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals were heartbroken by tragic news on Sunday. Alex Luey’s father Scott explained that the 15-year-old passed away in his sleep after battling cancer for three years.
“Early this morning our son Alex’s three-year battle with cancer ended when he passed away in his sleep at the hospital,” Scott Luey wrote on Twitter. “Alex battled bravely and touched many lives during his life. I won’t be on social media over the holidays but I will post funeral arrangements shortly.”
Ovechkin and Luey formed quite the bond over the last few years, something Ovechkin discussed on Twitter while sharing his condolences to Luey’s family.
Our Caps family heartbroken…so sad to hear Alex Luey pass away today. Such a great kid. He inspire me and our team with his strength. My family will pray for him and his mom and dad. Love you bro. I will miss seeing you in Toronto. Rest In Peace. ❤️ #LueyStrong
Tom Wilson described Luey as “one of the kindest and bravest kids I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years.”
Luey, Ovechkin form a lasting connection
First, Ovechkin surprised Luey with a message during the Oct. 11, 2017 edition of Sportsnet’s “Hometown Hockey.” Then, the Capitals forward promised Luey that if Ovechkin scored on Nov. 25, 2017 game (which happened to be a Hockey Fights Cancer event), Ovechkin would find him in the crowd. Ovechkin managed to generate a hat trick after Luey read out the starting lineups before the game, and Luey received the player of the game award:
A quick look inside the winning locker room – Alex Luey gets the coveted Player Of The Game award. #CapsFightCancer #CapsLeafs pic.twitter.com/0ZzXSrWfvP
— Washington ☃️ Capitals (@Capitals) November 26, 2017
Luey’s experience ranked as one of the best hockey stories of 2017, but the connection didn’t stop there.
Ovechkin made sure that Luey was able to celebrate the Capitals winning a Stanley Cup:
The final touch on a dream season!! Thanks @ovi8 and @SergeyKocharov and thanks to @SNChrisSimpson @RonMacLeanHTH @TaraSlone and @hometownhockey_ where it all started!! #ALLCAPS #lueystrong pic.twitter.com/FGpddhaW9J
— Scott Luey (@cao4poco) June 12, 2018
“I always hoped they would win the Stanley Cup,” Luey said of the experience, via NHL.com. “Never thought I’d be here at the parade.”
Luey clearly will be missed, and the Capitals won’t forget their “lucky charm.”
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.