Alexander Ovechkin

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GM Brian MacLellan backs Alex Ovechkin's decision to sit out the All-Star Game

GM Brian MacLellan backs Alex Ovechkin's decision to sit out the All-Star Game

Alex Ovechkin electing to sit out his second consecutive All-Star game has generated quite the reaction. 

Patrick Kane offered his thoughts on the subject two weeks ago while most fans are either disappointed he won't take part in the tradition as a captain or fine with him resting for the playoffs. 

You can place Brian MacLellan in the latter half of the public in question. The Capitals' general manager explained on Hockey Central why he'd prefer his 34-old goal franchise player to make sure he's at his best when it matters most. 

"We talked a few times about it," MacLellan said. "I think he's trying to pace this season out and looks at this as an opportunity to have some rest and regenerate and attack the second half of the year.

"I'd rather see him rested and scoring goals during the regular season than coming in tired and trying to get through the last half of the season," he said. 

Ovechkin's been an All-Star 12 times, won three Hart Trophies and one Stanley Cup. He's a surefire Hall of Famer and he's at the point where accolades don't matter as much as Cups do. 

The Caps are currently first in the Metropolitan Division and hold the best record in the league with 65 points. The Cup is the goal for this team, so why not pass up a chance to rest one of your most important players, especially when he's getting up there in age?

"I think age plays a factor here," he said. "When you're that old, it's hard to get through the season and be at your highest point for the playoffs.

"I get that there's a responsibility to the game from the league's point of view, but maybe they should have some exemptions for guys that have been there a certain amount of times or a certain age limit on it that they do have the option to bypass it."

While it may be frustrating for some Capitals fans not to see Ovechkin out there with every other All-Star in just over two weeks, it'll be much sweeter when he's fully healthy at the start of another Stanley Cup run. 

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Capitals superfan Alex Luey passes away

Capitals superfan Alex Luey passes away

Capitals superfan and inspiration to Alex Ovechkin, Alex Luey, passed away Sunday after a three-year battle with cancer. 

Luey developed a special bond with Ovechkin over the last two years. in 2017, Luey got to read the Caps' starting lineup. Ovechkin promised him he'd score for him and proceeded to go off for a hat trick. 

Ovechkin shared a tweet about Luey on Sunday afternoon. 

Tom Wilson also shared his condolences.

Luey was the team's good luck charm when he returned to see his favorite team play in October.

In that game, Ovechkin scored two goals, one of them a game-winner, so the Caps gave Luey the player of the game helmet after a win in Toronto.

Luey was 13 years old. 

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Alex Ovechkin jokes he'll retire if he passes Wayne Gretzky on all-time scoring list

Alex Ovechkin jokes he'll retire if he passes Wayne Gretzky on all-time scoring list

While Capitals fans may never want to see the day when Alex Ovechkin officially calls it a career, we may have gotten a small peek into what would be the driving force behind his retirement. 

In an excerpt from an interview with ESPN's Linda Cohn, Ovechkin was asked what would happen if he overtook Wayne Gretzky and became hockey's all-time leading scorer. 

"You're probably never going to see me on the ice again," Ovechkin joked. 

Ovechkin is currently 12th on the all-time goals list with 678 career scores. He's seven goals away from passing Teemu Selanne for 11th all-time and could realistically crack the top 10 by the end of the season. 

To pass Gretzky? He'll need 217 more. 

If Ovechkin has any hopes of catching Gretzky on the all-time points list, he may not get close. 

With 1,242 career points, Ovechkin is 38th on the all-time list and is 1,615 behind Gretzky. Yes, Ovechkin trails Gretzky by more points than he's accumulated over a 15-year career. 

Ovechkin may never come close to Gretzky on the points list, but he'll always be an elite goal scorer and as long as he stays healthy, there's no reason for him not to threaten "The Great One" for the all-time goals crown. 

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