New Jersey Devils rookie gets last laugh on hockey superstar

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The old sports cliche says “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” But in the case of New Jersey Devils rookie Miles Wood, maybe it should be “if you can’t get ’em to sign an autograph, join ’em and then beat ’em.”

In a story published on Deadspin this week,  Wood shared the story how when he was an 11-year-old junior player, he mailed a letter to his then-idol Alex Ovechkin asking for a signature. The cheeky kid included a good-natured warning in his request as well, writing ““If you don’t sign this and send it back to me, when I make it to the NHL, I’m going to give you a big body check.”

Well, Ovechkin never did provide the autograph. Which brings us to Thursday night’s Devils game against Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. The rookie Wood – who made good on his promise to make the NHL – was penciled in the lineup and was preparing to also make good on the second part of his request/threat.

But Ovechkin, pardon the pun, beat him to the punch.

The Caps’ superstar, hearing Wood’s story, had a signed photo sent over to the Devil’s dressing room on which he’d written “To Miles, take it easy tonight! Alex.”