LOS ANGELES—Alex Ovechkin added another bullet point to his already ridiculously long resume Friday when the NHL named the Capitals' captain to its 100 greatest players of all-time list.
Ovechkin, the 2005-06 rookie of the year and a three-time league MVP, called it arguably the biggest honor of his 12-year career.
“Probably No. 1,” Ovechkin said, asked where being named to the Top 100 ranks for him. “To be in this company, it’s incredible. All the legends—and you’re one of them. It’s unbelievable.”
The list was decided by a panel of hockey executives, NHL alumni and media.
Ovechkin was one of six active players to make the cut, joining Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.
No. 8, however, wasn’t the only Capitals player represented. A handful of others who spent a portion of their career in Washington also made the cut. Among them:
He skated 10 of his 22 NHL seasons in Washington, racking up 397 goals and 392 assists in a Capitals’ jersey. “I’ve played for a lot of teams, but I played for Washington the longest,” Gartner said to CSN. “They’re the only team that’s retired my jersey, so I have a very fond place in my heart for the Washington Capitals.”
He spent eight of his 22 seasons with the Capitals, racking up 98 goals, 331 assists and 1,628 penalty minutes.
He played five-plus seasons in Washington, amassing 73 goals and 290 assists in 387 games. Oates also served as head coach from 2012-2014.
Set to turn 45 next month, Jags didn’t work out the way anyone hoped in Washington, where he played two-plus seasons. He racked up 201 points in 190 games as a Capital; he put up a league best 121 points in Pittsburgh the year before he arrived.
In 70 regular season games split over two seasons, Feds produced 13 goals and 33 assists. He also scored the Game 7 winner against the Rangers in 2009. “I talked to Alex [regarding] my feelings about when unfortunately I had to leave the organization,” Fedorov said of the conversation he had with Ovechkin earlier in the evening. “I really wanted to stay and get the Stanley Cup to Washington. …Unfortunately, the NHL has a salary cap. We were both sad about that.”
As great as those other players were, none quite had the impact Ovechkin’s made. No. 8 is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (548) and points (1,011) and, at 31 years old, remains under contract for four more seasons after this one.
“I got to meet with lots of legends,” Ovechkin said, referring to backstage chats with Mike Bossy, Fedorov and others. “It was nice to be part of it. …It’s probably the best award I’ve had in my life. To be in the top 100, it’s pretty impressive and it’s pretty cool.”