Who is Alex Ovechkin?

28 Dec

Ovi ready to rock. and. roll. © Keith Allison on Creative Commons

To celebrate the end of the recent 8-game losing streak of the Washington Capitals, we bring you 10 facts about their captain, Alex Ovechkin.

1o. He was drafted first overall in the 2004 entry draft. Scouts were so fond of Ovechkin that the Florida Panthers tried to select him late in the 2003 draft. He was only two days too young to be eligible for that draft, and the Panthers organization argued that, because he had lived through several leap years, he was in fact old enough to be chosen. Luckily, no one bought this argument, and he was picked by the Caps in 2004.

9. Common nicknames:  Ovi (his preferred spelling)/Ovie/Ovy, AO, Alex The Great, The Great 8 (his jersey number)

8. Ovechkin is from Moscow and returns to Russia in the off-season. He competes  internationally for Russia and has made it clear that he wants to win an Olympic gold medal for Russia as badly as he wants to win the Stanley Cup.  Ovechkin’s mother is a gold medal winner in basketball.

7. Due to the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Ovechkin and the 2005 first pick, Sidney Crosby, both entered the league the same year, 2005-06. Crosby plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were already a rival of the Caps. Ovechkin beat Crosby for the rookie-of-the-year trophy that season.

6. Ovechkin plays left wing and is best known for his goal-scoring ability.

5. He is also known for playing “on the edge” with big hits and aggressive play. He was suspended twice last year for a total of 10 games.

4. Ovechkin and many of the Caps players live in Arlington. You can go skating at their practice rink, Kettler Capitals IcePlex, which is located on the roof of the Ballston Common Mall parking garage. Most practices are also open to the public. He and his Russian teammates are known to be spotted frequently at Russia House in Dupont Circle.

3. During hockey season, Ovi’s parents often come to visit him at his house in Arlington for weeks and months at a time. You can spot his parents at Caps practices and games. The 24-year-old is unmarried and has said that as long as he is unmarried he likes having his mother around to do his laundry and cook for him.

2. Individual awards include the Art Ross trophy for most points (goals plus assists) in 2008, Rocket Richard trophy for most goals in 2008 and 2009, Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) in 2008 and 2009, and Most Outstanding Player (voted on by the players in the league) 2008, 2009, and 2010.

1. If you get HBO, you can see Ovi, Crosby, and the Caps and Penguins on a reality TV show. The 4-part miniseries “24/7 Penguins/Capitals Road to the Winter Classic” runs on Wednesday nights through the beginning of January. Episodes replay frequently if you missed the first two. The daytime reruns are censored, so make sure you catch the broadcast at night if you want to know what hockey players really talk like.

– Sports Editor Rachel

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