TORONTO — Naturally, the first time Novak Djokovic played hockey should take place in Canada.
That’s exactly what happened Sunday afternoon at Toronto’s Rogers Cup, when a host of NHLers played with some tennis players, including Canadian juniors Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Ben Sigouin and, of course, Djokovic, the top men's player in the world right now, in a friendly ball hockey game contested on the Aviva Centre’s Centre Court.
On the NHL side of things, Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza participated along with Brayden Schenn, Zac Rinaldo, Ryan O'Reilly, Michael Del Zotto and Dominic Moore. Former NHLer and Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos also suited up.
Because it was family weekend at the Rogers Cup, scores of children were in the stands for the game. And while this is technically a tennis tournament, the majority of them were itching to see the Edmonton Oilers’ young superstar, who received a loud cheer when he stepped onto the court. The other big cheer went to Djokovic, who came onto the “ice” shortly after the others and warmed up by taking some penalty shots, much to the delight of the crowd.