Not many players reach 500 goals. Even fewer do it in 801 games. On Thursday, the Capitals honored captain Alex Ovechkin for reaching the 500 goal milestone in a ceremony that took place on the ice prior to their game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Ted Leonsis, team president Dick Patrick and general manager Brian MacLellan were joined on the ice by Ovechkin's parents and his fiancé Nastya Shubskaya. A video tribute was then played over that included congratulatory messages from some of the biggest names in hockey history including Brett Hull, Peter Bondra (who received quite the ovation), Sergei Fedorov, Pavel Bure, Pierre Turgeon, Luc Robitaille, Mike Gartner, Lanny McDonald, Jarome Iginla, Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito and Teemu Selanne. It finished with a message from the Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.
After the video, Ovechkin was announced to the crowd and he skated to center ice amid thunderous applause. Leonsis then presented him with a gold hockey stick with the date in which he scored No. 500, the score, the opponent and a message from the team on the blade.
You can watch the full ceremony and video tribute in the video above.
Ovechkin is only the 43rd player in NHL history to reach 500 goals and he was the fifth fastest to do it with only 801 career games. Only Wayne Gretzky (575 games), Mario Lemieux (605), Mike Bossy (647) and Brett Hull (693) got there faster.
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