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|Born|| September 17, 1985 |
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||230 lb (100 kg; 16 st 6 lb)|
HC Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 2004|
|Born|| September 17, 1985 |
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||230 lb (100 kg; 16 st 6 lb)|
HC Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 2004|
Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin (Russian: Александр Михайлович Овечкин; IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐˈvʲet͡ɕkʲɪn]; born September 17, 1985) is a Russian professional ice hockey winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). Prior to playing in the NHL, Ovechkin played for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for four seasons from 2001 until 2005, and he played for Dynamo again (this time in the Kontinental Hockey League) during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. Ovechkin was the first overall selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, drafted from Dynamo after 3 seasons with the club. Since the 2004–05 NHL season was lost because of a lockout, Ovechkin remained with Dynamo for one more season before transferring to the NHL for the 2005–06 NHL season, in which he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies with 106 points.
During the 2007–08 season, he led the NHL with 65 goals and 112 points to capture the Rocket Richard and Art Ross Trophies. That season he also won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the top player voted by the NHL Players' Association and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP. He is the only player to win all four awards since the Rocket Richard Trophy's inception in 1999. He would lead Team Russia to a gold medal at the World Championships the same year. In 2009, he again won the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP, the Lester B. Pearson Award, and the Rocket Richard Trophy. Ovechkin also led the Capitals to their second consecutive division title. He won the Ted Lindsay Award, the new name of the Pearson Award, for a third straight year in 2010, as well as being named to the First All-Star Team for a fifth consecutive season. Ovechkin remained among league leaders in scoring in the 2010–11 NHL season (85 points, 7th in the NHL) and among the league leaders in goals scored in the 2011–12 NHL season (38 goals, 5th in the NHL). In the 2013 NHL shortened lockout season, Ovechkin led the league in goals with 32, winning him his third Rocket Richard and Hart Memorial trophies.
Alex Ovechkin is the son of Mikhail Ovechkin, a former professional soccer player, and Tatyana Ovechkina, who won two Olympic gold medals while competing for the Soviet women's basketball team at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The first sign of Ovechkin's future came when he was two years old—while in a Soviet toy store, he grabbed a toy hockey stick and refused to let go. His parents treasure the picture to this day. Whenever he saw a hockey game on TV, he "dropped all his toys" and ran to the TV, protesting if his parents tried to change the channel. His parents say they knew he would be an athlete when he chose to run up the steps to their 10th floor apartment instead of taking the elevator. They also encouraged him to be athletic, sending him out to play at nearby soccer fields and basketball courts.
Sergei, Ovechkin's older brother, had initially introduced him to hockey, and Alex enrolled in hockey school at the age of 8. Soon after he began, however, he had to postpone his hockey career because his parents were unable to take him to the rink. But one of Ovechkin's coaches saw his talent and insisted to his parents that he should continue playing hockey. Sergei later died in a car accident when Alex was 10. A childhood friend claims this is one of the reasons Ovechkin is so passionate on the ice. He also has another older brother, Mikhael.
Ovechkin began playing in the Russian Superleague with Dynamo Moscow at the age of 16. Making his professional debut in the 2001–02 season, he scored four points in 21 games. He would spend three seasons there prior to being drafted by the NHL, and he would rack up 36 goals and 32 assists in 152 career games.
The following off-season, Ovechkin was selected first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals. He had been projected as the first overall pick for nearly two years and had earned comparisons to Mario Lemieux. He was so highly regarded that the Florida Panthers attempted to draft him in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in the 9th round, even though his birthday was two days after the cut-off (September 15, 1985). Rick Dudley, the general manager of the Panthers, claimed the pick was legitimate, claiming that Ovechkin was old enough with leap years taken into consideration.
Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Ovechkin remained with Dynamo for one more season. He recorded 27 points in 34 games in 2004–05, while missing nearly two months of play because of a shoulder injury sustained in the gold medal game against Canada in the 2005 World Junior Championships. In the playoffs he helped Dynamo win the Russian Superleague title.
With the threat of the lockout cancelling another NHL season, Ovechkin signed a contract with rival Russian team Avangard Omsk. In order to maintain his eligibility for the NHL in the event that the lockout ended, the contract contained an out clause with a July 20, 2005 deadline. Although a new NHL collective bargaining agreement (CBA) had not yet been reached between players and owners, Ovechkin decided to opt out and signed with the Capitals on August 5, 2005. The deal was a three-year, entry-level contract worth the rookie maximum of $984,200 per season with performance-based bonuses to inflate his annual salary to as much as $3.9 million.
Two days after signing, the lockout ended with a new CBA. Ovechkin played his first game with the Capitals on October 5, 2005, scoring two goals against goalie Pascal Leclaire in a 3–2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. On January 13, 2006 in Anaheim, Ovechkin scored his first career hat trick against Jean-Sébastien Giguère of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to help Washington win the game. Three days later, on January 16, he scored a goal that veteran hockey reporter Bill Clement called "one of the greatest goals of all time". Knocked down by Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Paul Mara and sliding on his back facing away from the net, Ovechkin was able to hook the puck with one hand on his stick and slide it into the net past goalie Brian Boucher for his second goal of the night. It became referred to as "The Goal". On February 1, Ovechkin was named NHL Rookie of the Month for January 2006 as well as being named Offensive Player of the Month, becoming only the third player in NHL history to earn both honors simultaneously.
Ovechkin finished the 2005–06 season leading all NHL rookies in goals, points, power-play goals, and shots. He finished third overall in the NHL in scoring with 106 points and tied for third in goals with 52. His 425 shots led the league, set an NHL rookie record and was the fourth-highest total in NHL history. Ovechkin's point total was the second-best in Washington Capitals history and his goals total tied for third in franchise history. He was also named to the NHL First All-Star Team, the first rookie to receive the honor in 15 years. After the season ended, Ovechkin received the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL's best rookie.
Playing in the final season of his rookie contract, in 2007–08, Ovechkin signed a 13-year contract extension worth $124 million with the Capitals on January 10, 2008. The contract, which averages $9.5 million per year, is the richest in NHL history. Working without an agent, Ovechkin negotiated directly with Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and general manager George McPhee.
Late in the season, on March 3, 2008, Ovechkin notched his 50th, 51st and 52nd goals of the campaign for his fourth career NHL hat trick and to hit the 50-goal mark for the second time in his career. Later that month, on March 21, 2008, Ovechkin scored his 59th and 60th goals of the season against the Atlanta Thrashers, becoming the first NHL player to score 60 goals in a season since Mario Lemieux and Jaromír Jágr in 1995–96 and 19th player overall. Four days later, on March 25, Ovechkin scored his 61st goal of the season to break the Washington Capitals' team record for goals in a single season previously held by Dennis Maruk. He also went on to break Luc Robitaille's record for most goals by a left winger in one season on April 3, 2008, by scoring two goals for his 64th and 65th of the season. He also became the first NHL player to score at least 40 even-strength goals in one season since Pavel Bure in 1999–2000.
Leading the league in scoring with 65 goals and 112 points, Ovechkin captured both the Art Ross Trophy and the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2007–08. It was the first time in 41 seasons that a left-winger led the NHL in points since Bobby Hull led the league with 97 points in 1965–66.
Ovechkin helped lead a rejuvenated Capitals team back to the Stanley Cup playoffs with a stronger supporting cast that included countryman Alexander Semin, rookie center Nicklas Bäckström and defenseman Mike Green. He scored the game-winning goal in his NHL playoff debut with less than five minutes left in Game 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He scored nine points in seven games against the Flyers as the Capitals were eliminated in the opening round.
In the off-season, Ovechkin was awarded the Lester B. Pearson Award as the top player voted by the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's MVP, becoming the first player in the history of the NHL to win all four major awards, including the Art Ross and Rocket Richard Trophies. Ovechkin was also awarded his third consecutive Kharlamov Trophy, named after Soviet hockey star Valeri Kharlamov and presented by Sovetsky Sport newspaper as the best Russian NHL player as voted by other Russian NHL players.
In late October of the 2008–09 NHL season, Ovechkin returned home to Moscow to visit his ailing grandfather, missing only the second game of his career up to that point, snapping a consecutive streak of 203 games played. On February 5, 2009, Ovechkin scored his 200th goal against the Los Angeles Kings becoming only the fourth player in the NHL to reach the milestone in four seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux. On March 19, he scored his 50th goal of the season, becoming the first Washington Capitals player to reach the 50-goal mark three times. He finished the campaign with 56 goals to capture his second consecutive Rocket Richard Trophy, joining Jarome Iginla and Pavel Bure as the third player to win the award twice and the second player after Bure (2000 and 2001) to win the award in back-to-back seasons. With 110 points, he finished as runner-up to countryman Evgeni Malkin for the Art Ross.
Ovechkin and the Capitals repeated as division champions en route to meeting the Rangers in the opening round. After advancing to the second round in seven games, Ovechkin notched his first NHL playoff hat trick on May 4, 2009, in Game 2 against the Penguins to help Washington to a 4–3 win. The Capitals were eventually defeated by Pittsburgh, the eventual Stanley Cup champions, in seven games. Ovechkin finished the 2009 playoffs with a post-season career-high 21 points in 14 games. He went on to win the Hart and Pearson Trophies for the second consecutive year, becoming the seventeenth player to win the Hart multiple times.
Just over a month into the 2009–10 season, Ovechkin suffered an upper-body injury during a game against the Blue Jackets on November 1, 2009, after a collision with opposing forward Raffi Torres. After returning, Ovechkin was suspended by the NHL on December 1 for two games (one for the action, and one for a second game misconduct penalty during the season) for a knee-on-knee hit to Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason during a game the previous day. Both Gleason and Ovechkin had to be helped off the ice, although Gleason later returned during the game, while Ovechkin did not. Ovechkin was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct at the time. Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau commented that Ovechkin's style of play was at times "reckless". The suspension was Ovechkin's first of his career, causing him to forfeit $98,844.16 in salary.
On January 5, 2010, Ovechkin was named captain of the Washington Capitals after previous captain Chris Clark was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He became the first European, second youngest and 14th overall captain in team history.
On February 5, 2010, at a game against the New York Rangers, Ovechkin, with his second goal and third point of the game, reached the 500-point milestone of his NHL career. He is the fifth player to achieve the milestone in only five seasons, reaching it in 373 career games.
On March 14, 2010, at a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center, Ovechkin sent Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell into the boards after Campbell had dumped the puck to the blue line. Ovechkin was called for boarding, receiving a 5-minute major and a game misconduct, and was suspended for 2 games (for a third game misconduct of the season, a 2-game suspension is automatic). Campbell suffered a fractured clavicle and fractured rib, and was expected to be out 7–8 weeks.
Ovechkin won the 2009–2010 Ted Lindsay Award, becoming only the second player in NHL history to win the award in three consecutive years. He also led the NHL in goals per game & points per game for 3 straight Seasons (2008–10) Ovechkin currently ranks third in Capitals history in goals (only Peter Bondra and Mike Gartner have tallied more goals) and is 7th in total points.
In 2009–2010 Ovechkin surpassed the mark of Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame goaltender Bill Durnan (first four seasons from 1943–44 through 1946–47) and became the first player in NHL history voted a First Team All-Star in each of his first five seasons.
In 2011, Ovechkin and the Capitals took part in the New Year's Day NHL Winter Classic, facing the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ovechkin did not score any points, but he and the Capitals won 3–1. On a March 8, 2011, in a 5–0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, Ovechkin recorded his 600th career point. On April 5, 2011, Ovechkin scored his 300th career goal, becoming the 6th youngest and 7th fastest player to do so. On December 12, 2011, Ovechkin registered his first NHL fighting major against Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers.
On January 23, 2012, Ovechkin received a three game suspension for a hit on Zbynek Michalek of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The following day, Ovechkin announced he would not attend the 2012 NHL All-Star Game due to the suspension.
Ovechkin's numbers dipped in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but in the 2013 lockout-shortened NHL season, he led the league in goal scoring with 32 goals, winning him his third Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy. He combined his 32 goals with 24 assists, giving him 56 points, good for third most points in the league. He was also awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy for the third time in his career. Ovechkin only scored 2 points in a first round exit of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs against the New York Rangers. He also played with a hairline fracture in his foot during the playoffs.
On December 20, 2013, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin scored his 400th career goal. He became the 6th fastest player to ever reach that mark, getting it in 634 games, 1 less than Pavel Bure.
At the conclusion of the 2013-14 NHL season, Ovechkin had the strange distinction of winning the Rocket Richard Trophy, scoring 51 goals, while going -35, one of the league's worst, in the plus-minus stat. The Washington Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 NHL season.
Ovechkin during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
|Competitor for Russia|
|Men's ice hockey|
|World Junior Championships|
|Silver||2005 United States|
|World U18 Championships|
At the age of 16, Ovechkin helped lead the Junior National Team to the Gold medal with two hat tricks, one against Switzerland and one against USA, and an assist.
At the age of 17, when he was selected by Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov to play in the Česká Pojišťovna Cup EuroTour tournament, Ovechkin became the youngest skater ever to play for the Russian National Team. In that tournament he also became the youngest player ever to score for the National Team. He also was selected to play at the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championships, which he amassed 14 goals and 4 assists in 8 games, leading Russia to a Silver medal.
At the age of 18, Alex Ovechkin was named Captain of the Junior Russian National Team. Russia finished 5th in the tournament. In 2003, the team would go on to win a gold medal in the IIHF World U20 Championship.
Also at the age of 19, Alex Ovechkin was named Captain of the Junior National Team in the 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. The tournament, lasting from December 25, 2004, to January 4, 2005, was Ovechkin's third and last. At the end of the tournament he had collected 7 goals (tied for tournament lead). His team received the silver medal after losing the gold medal game to Canada on January 4, and Ovechkin was named the Best Forward of the tournament as well as selected to the tournament All-Star Team. In 2005 Ovechkin played in his first IIHF men's World Championships. He scored five goals and three assists, landing eighth in the top scorers list and sharing third place in goal scoring.
In 2006, Ovechkin played in his first Winter Olympic Games. Although Russia came away from the games without a medal, Ovechkin scored 5 goals in the tournament, including the game-winner against Canada's Martin Brodeur, eliminating Canada from the tournament. Ovechkin was the only player not on the Swedish (Gold) or Finnish (Silver) teams to be named to the all-tournament team.
At the 2006 IIHF World Championships, Ovechkin scored six goals and three assists (nine points) in seven games before Russia lost 4–3 to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. For his efforts, Ovechkin was one of six players selected to the Media All-Star Team.
At the 2008 IIHF World Championships, Ovechkin helped lead Russia to the gold medal by finishing with 12 points (six goals, six assists) in nine games. He was selected to the Media All-Star Team for the second time in five tournament appearances.
In the 2010 Winter Olympics, Ovechkin and Team Russia were one of the favourites to win the Gold Medal. Despite high expectations, Russia lost to Canada 7–3 in the quarterfinals. Ovechkin finished with 2 goals and 2 assists in Russia's four games.
After being eliminated in the first round of the NHL playoffs, Ovechkin joined Team Russia for the 2010 IIHF World Championships along with many other Russian stars, such as Malkin, Datsyuk, and Kovalchuk. Despite being heavily favoured to win the tournament, Russia lost to the Czech Republic in the finals. This loss ended a disappointing year for Ovechkin on the international stage.
Ovechkin also joined the Russian team for the 2011 IIHF World Championships after the Capitals were eliminated from the NHL playoffs. He played in 5 games for the Russian team, but did not manage to score any points. This was the first time Ovechkin failed to score any points in a World Championship tournament.
Ovechkin played in Russia's last 3 games of the 2012 IIHF World Championships. He recorded 2 goals and 2 assists as Russia won the tournament.
Ovechkin also represent Russia in 2013 IIHF World Championships. He joined the National Team after Capitals were eliminated from 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. Russia had already passed to first playoff-round where they faced United States. USA defeated Russia, 8–3, eliminating them from the tournament.
Ovechkin participated and lead Russia in the 2014 IIHF World Championship to win the gold medal.
The day after he received his first Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP, he was given the key to the city by Washington mayor Adrian M. Fenty for being the first Washington MVP winner in a major sport since Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins in 1983.
Ovechkin was reportedly involved in a feud with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, who was drafted second behind Ovechkin in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Though the two were reported to be good friends when they roomed together during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, this friendship quickly cooled. There is no definitive information on what caused the feud, but the most popular theory is that it began in August 2007, when Ovechkin supposedly punched Malkin's Russian agent, Gennady Ushakov, at a Moscow nightclub. Ovechkin has denied that version of events, while Malkin confirmed it, although he was not certain whether this was the precipitating event to the feud. The most notorious event took place on January 21, 2008 in Pittsburgh, when Ovechkin took a run at Malkin, which would have seemingly resulted in a devastating hit had Malkin not ducked out of the way just in time. The two would also not make eye contact at the 2008 NHL Awards Ceremony. Despite these incidents, Ovechkin has repeatedly denied "having it out" for Malkin.
Though the feud raised many concerns as to its effect on the league, and the Russian national team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, it apparently dissipated as mysteriously as it started. On January 24, 2009, at the SuperSkills Competition, Malkin assisted Ovechkin in his stunt during the Breakaway Challenge. Malkin handed Ovechkin his props for the stunt as well as handing him his stick and pouring some sports drink down Ovechkin's throat. Though there is no final word on the nature and status of the feud, considering their past interactions, this incident appears to show that the feud has effectively ended. It has been reported that Ilya Kovalchuk, who was then the Atlanta Thrashers' captain and is also teammate of Ovechkin and Malkin on the Russian national team, brokered the peace between the two.
On January 24, 2009, Ovechkin won the Breakaway Competition at the SuperSkills Competition for the 2nd consecutive year in Montreal after emerging in the final few seconds wearing a hat bestowed with a Canadian flag and white sunglasses. On January 25, 2009, Ovechkin scored 1 goal and notched 2 assists, as well as scoring the game-ending shootout goal in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game as the Eastern Conference won 12–11.
Late in the 2008–09 NHL season, Ovechkin garnered some criticism over his exuberant after-goal celebrations. In the February 28, 2009, segment of Hockey Night in Canada's Coach's Corner, Canadian hockey analyst Don Cherry likened Ovechkin's celebrations of jumping into the boards and his team-mates to that of soccer players, concluding that this was not the Canadian way and advising Canadian kids to ignore Ovechkin's example. Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau came to Ovechkin's defense, stating Cherry "doesn't know Alex like we know Alex", and Ovechkin himself stated that he "doesn't care" about Cherry. The next notable incident happened on March 19, 2009, in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. After scoring his 50th goal of the season, Ovechkin put his stick on the ice, pretending to warm his hands over it because it was "hot". The incident sparked an immediate response from Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet who said that "[Ovechkin] went down a notch in my books". Boudreau had also stated that he would discuss the incident with Ovechkin, and teammate Mike Green, despite being the first to celebrate with Ovechkin afterwards, commented that he did not wish to join in the pre-meditated celebration. Ovechkin himself was unapologetic, and said about Don Cherry in particular, "He's going to be pissed off for sure...I love it!".
He is the cover athlete of 2K Sports hockey simulation video game NHL 2K10, as well as the cover athlete of EA Sports NHL 07. On June 11, 2008, Ovechkin launched his own line of designer streetwear with CCM. On July 6, 2009, Ovechkin was named an ambassador for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In late 2009, he was named GQ's 48th most powerful person in D.C.
During the 2010–11 season, he has been featured in one of ESPN's This is SportsCenter commercials, in which he laughed off a question by ESPN personality Steve Levy accusing him of being a Russian spy before being pulled upward by a line through an open ceiling tile by countryman and then-Capitals teammate Semyon Varlamov.
In August 2011 Ovechkin's agent made an announcement that Alex would no longer be endorsed by CCM and had made the move to Bauer. This was a major move in Alex's career as he had used CCM most of his career. As his point production went down in the 2010–2011 season Alex made the decision to switch to Bauer. His current equipment includes a Bauer Supreme Total One NXG stick, Bauer Vapor APX pro gloves, Bauer Re-Akt Helmet and Bauer Vapor APX2 skates.
Ovechkin is a dedicated car enthusiast, owning many fine automobiles such as a Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series and a custom Mercedes S63 AMG.
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