Ovechkin during the 2015-16 NHL season
17 September 1985 |
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)|
HC Dynamo Moscow
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 2004
Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin ( ? ?; IPA: [?l'ksandr ?'v?et?kn]; born 17 September 1985) is a Russian professional winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is regarded as one of the best ice hockey players of the modern NHL. Prior to entering the NHL, Ovechkin played for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague for four seasons, from 2001 until 2005, and returned to play for them briefly during the 2012-13 NHL lockout. A highly touted prospect, Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. With the 2004-05 NHL lockout cancelling the season, Ovechkin remained in Russia until 2005, joining the Capitals for the 2005-06 season. He won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year, scoring 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies with 106 points and finishing third overall in league scoring.
Ovechkin has led the NHL in goal scoring, and won the Rocket Richard Trophy seven times in his career. He first did so in 2007-08 season, when he recorded 65 goals and 112 points. That year he also led the league in points, winning the Art Ross Trophy, and also won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player and Lester B. Pearson Award as the best player as voted on by the NHL Players' Association. Ovechkin would again win the Hart Trophy and Pearson Award in 2009, along with the Richard Trophy, and won the Ted Lindsay Award (the renamed Pearson Award) for a third consecutive year in 2010; it also marked the fifth straight year that he was named to the First All-Star Team. After a couple years of decreased scoring, Ovechkin again led the league in goals, earning the Richard Trophy, in 2013, and again winning the Hart Trophy. He would repeat as the Richard Trophy winner from 2014 to 2016, scoring at least 50 goals each season, becoming the first player to win the award six times, and the third to lead the NHL in goals that many times, as well as the third player to score 50 goals in a season seven times. He marked 500 career NHL goals in the 2015-16 season and also led the league in goals for four straight seasons from 2012-13 to 2015-16; as such, Ovechkin is considered by many to be one of the greatest goal scorers in the history of the NHL. In 2017, Ovechkin was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players of all-time.
Internationally Ovechkin has represented Russia in multiple tournaments. His first IIHF tournament was the 2002 World U18 Championship. The following year he made his debut at the World Junior Championship, helping Russia win the gold medal. He played two more years at the World Juniors, as well as once more at the World U18 Championships. Ovechkin's first senior tournament was the 2004 World Championship, and he also played in the World Cup that year. Ovechkin has also played for Russia at the Winter Olympics in 2006, 2010, and 2014. Overall Ovechkin has represented Russia at eleven World Championships and three Olympics in his career, winning the World Championship three times.
Alex Ovechkin is the son of Mikhail Ovechkin 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 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 football pitches and basketball courts.
Sergei, Ovechkin's older brother, had initially introduced him to hockey, and Alex enrolled in hockey school at the age of eight. However, soon after he began, 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 died in a car accident when Alex was ten. A childhood friend claims this is one of the reasons Ovechkin is so passionate on the ice. He also has another older brother, Mikhail.
Ovechkin began playing in the Russian Super League (RSL) in 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 ninth round, even though his birthday was two days after the cut-off (15 September 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 RSL 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 20 July 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 5 August 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 5 October 2005, scoring two goals against goalie Pascal Leclaire in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. On 13 January 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 16 January, 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." Famous spectators include Auston Matthews, who said in an interview during the 2016-2017 season that it was the best goal he's ever seen live. On 1 February, 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.
He was also a finalist in his rookie season for the Lester B. Pearson Award.EA Sports made him one of the cover athletes for NHL 07. The following season, Ovechkin appeared in his first NHL All-Star Game in Dallas on 24 January 2007. He completed his second NHL season with 46 goals and 92 points.
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 10 January 2008. The contract, which averages $9.5 million per year, was the richest in NHL history. Working without an agent, Ovechkin negotiated with Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and former general manager George McPhee.
Late in the season, on 3 March 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 21 March 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 25 March, 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 3 April 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 Maurice "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 National Hockey League 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 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 5 February 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 19 March, 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 New York Rangers in the opening round. After advancing to the second round in seven games, Ovechkin notched his first NHL playoff hat trick on 4 May 2009, in Game 2 against the Pittsburgh 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 Columbus Blue Jackets on 1 November 2009, after a collision with opposing forward Raffi Torres. After returning, Ovechkin was suspended by the NHL on 1 December 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 5 January 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 5 February 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 14 March 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 five-minute major and a game misconduct, and was suspended for two games (for a third game misconduct of the season, a two-game suspension is automatic). Campbell suffered a fractured clavicle and fractured rib, and was expected to be out seven-to-eight weeks.
Ovechkin won the 2009-10 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 three straight seasons, from 2008 to 2010) Ovechkin currently ranks third in Capitals history in goals (only Peter Bondra and Mike Gartner have tallied more goals) and is seventh in total points.
In 2009-10 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 the Capitals won 3-1. On 8 March 2011, in a 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, Ovechkin recorded his 600th career point. On 5 April 2011, Ovechkin scored his 300th career goal, becoming the sixth-youngest and seventh-fastest player to do so. On 12 December 2011, Ovechkin registered his first NHL major fight against Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers.
On 23 January 2012, Ovechkin received a three-game suspension for a hit on Zbyn?k Michálek 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 lockout-shortened 2013 season, he led the NHL in goal-scoring with 32, earning him his third Rocket Richard Trophy. He combined his 32 goals with 24 assists, giving him 56 points, good for third most points in the NHL. He was also awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy for the third time in his career. Ovechkin only scored two points in a first round exit of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs against the New York Rangers, during which he played with a hairline fracture in his foot. After the 2013 season, Ovechkin made history by being named to both the First and Second NHL All-Star Teams. He had switched to playing right wing that entire season so was voted to the First All-Star Team's right wing, but because some voters were not aware of the change, voted for him at his traditional left wing position, therefore also landing him left wing on the Second All-Star Team.
On 20 December 2013, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin scored his 400th career goal. He became the sixth fastest player to ever reach that mark, getting it in 634 games, one less than Pavel Bure.
At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, Ovechkin had the strange distinction of winning the Rocket Richard Trophy, scoring 51 goals, while going -35, one of the NHL's worst, in the plus-minus statistic. However, the Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006-07.
On 4 November 2014, in a game against the Calgary Flames, Ovechkin recorded his 826th point, a franchise record, surpassing Peter Bondra, who previously held the record with 825 points. However, the Flames won the game 4-3 in overtime. On 31 March 2015, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the year and became the sixth player in NHL history to have six 50-goal seasons, joining Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux. On 2 April, Ovechkin scored his 51st and 52nd goals of the season in a 5-4 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens, surpassing Bondra as the franchise leader in goals scored. It was also his 15th multi-goal game of the season, none of which were hat-tricks.
During the 2015-16 season, in the second period of a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ovechkin scored his eighth goal of the season to tie Sergei Fedorov's tally for the most goals among Russian born players, with 483. On 19 November 2015, Ovechkin scored his ninth goal of the season in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars; that goal broke Fedorov's record. On 10 January 2016, Ovechkin scored his 500th and 501st goals in a 7-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, becoming the 43rd player to reach the 500-goal plateau, and the fifth-fastest player to do so, as well as the first Russian. On 9 April 2016, Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season and became the third player in NHL history to have seven or more 50-goal seasons.
During the 2015-16 season, Ovechkin, for the first time in his career, did not lead the Washington Capitals in points, although he still led the team in goals with 50, and finished second on the team in points with 71, behind fellow countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov, who finished with 77. In the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Washington Capitals lost the series to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 after a 4-3 overtime defeat.
On 11 January 2017, Ovechkin scored his 1,000th career point, becoming the 37th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points with only one team.
The 2017-18 season appeared to be historic for Ovechkin, who broke many NHL and Capitals records during the regular season. On 7 October 2017, he became the first player in 100 years with back-to-back hat-tricks to start the season. As well, on 25 November, Ovechkin passed Bondra as the team's all-time leader in hat-tricks with his 20th of his career. On 21 October, in a game against the Detroit Red Wings, Ovechkin surpassed Jaromír Jágr for most regular season overtime goals with the 20th of his career. He extended the record again in December in an overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks. On 12 March 2018, Ovechkin scored his 600th career goal, making him the 20th player to ever reach such a feat, and the fourth to do so in less than 1,000 games. On 1 April 2018 Ovechkin would play in his 1,000th NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, becoming the first Capitals player to play 1,000 games and the 54th NHL player to do so within the same franchise. At the conclusion of the regular season, Ovechkin was awarded the Rocket Richard trophy for the seventh time in his career. He became the second player, tied with Bobby Hull, to be awarded the NHLs goal scoring title seven times.
"But I tell you, when you get on the ice with him and you see his shot for the first time, it's crazy. It's so, so hard. When I shoot, I can see my puck. When he shoots ... Oh, come on. Where's the puck?".-- Evgeny Kuznetsov on Ovechkin, December 2015
"Guys like Ovi shoot it so hard that it's almost like you're a batter in baseball. You see the blur of the puck coming at you in frames."-- Jonathan Quick, July 2015
Ovechkin during the 2010 Winter Olympics
|Men's ice hockey|
|World Junior Championships|
|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 ?eská Pojiovna 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 four assists in eight games, leading Russia to a silver medal. Ovechkin holds the record for most points scored in IIHF U18 World Championships with 31 points in 14 games.
At the age of 18, Ovechkin was named captain of the junior Russian national team. Russia finished fifth in the tournament. In 2003, the team would go on to win a gold medal in the IIHF World U20 Championship.
Also at 19, Ovechkin was named captain of the junior team in the 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. The tournament, lasting from 25 December 2004, to 4 January 2005, was Ovechkin's third and last. At the conclusion of the tournament, he had collected seven goals, tied for the tournament lead. His team received the silver medal after losing the gold medal game to Canada on 4 January, 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 five 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 medal winners) or Finnish (silver medal winners) 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 quarter-finals. 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 two goals and two 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 Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya 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 five games for the Russian team, but did not manage to score any points, the first time he failed to score any points in a World Championship tournament.
Ovechkin played in Russia's last three games of the 2012 IIHF World Championships. He recorded two goals and two assists as Russia won the tournament.
Ovechkin also represented Russia in 2013 IIHF World Championships. He joined the national team after Capitals were eliminated from 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. Russia had already advanced to the first playoff round where they faced the U.S. The Americans defeated Russia 8-3, eliminating them from the tournament.
Ovechkin participated in the 2014 IIHF World Championships. Russia won gold. After the tournament he asked Putin to reward the Russian hockey team on an equal basis with Sochi Olympic champions. That was criticized as the World Championship was considered insignificant compared to Olympic gold, which Russia had failed to win earlier that year in Sochi. He also joined the Russian team late in the 2015 IIHF World Championships, where Russia won the silver 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 Turin, 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 21 January 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 24 January 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 24 January 2009, Ovechkin won the Breakaway Competition at the SuperSkills Competition for the second consecutive year in Montreal after emerging in the final few seconds wearing a hat bestowed with a Canadian flag and white sunglasses. On 25 January 2009, Ovechkin scored one goal and notched two 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 season, Ovechkin garnered some criticism over his exuberant after-goal celebrations. In 28 February 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 teammates 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 19 March 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!."
Ovechkin 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 11 June 2008, Ovechkin launched his own line of designer streetwear with CCM. On 6 July 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 Washington, D.C.
During the 2010-11 season, Ovechkin 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 he would no longer be endorsed by CCM and had made the move to Bauer Hockey. This was a major move in Ovechkin's career, as he had used CCM most of his career. As his point production went down in the 2010-11 season, he made the decision to switch to Bauer. Ovechkin continued to use Bauer equipment until the 2017 season, when he switched back to CCM. He currently uses the Ribcor Trigger stick and the Super Tacks AS1 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. At the 2015 NHL All Star game, Ovechkin lobbied Honda for a new car, and brought an element of fun silliness to the "draft" where he was chosen third to last; the last two players selected, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Filip Forsberg, each received a new car, but Ovechkin would not give up. When Honda representatives asked his agent why he wanted a car so badly, they were told that he planned to donate it to the American Special Hockey Association, and at the end of the event, he was handed the keys to a new Honda Accord. That Accord will be auctioned off, and the proceeds used to benefit the charity Ovechkin highlighted and brought attention to with his antics.
Ovechkin was formerly engaged to tennis player Maria Kirilenko. On 21 July 2014, Kirilenko announced that the wedding was called off and that two were no longer seeing each other. On 11 September 2015, Ovechkin announced via Instagram his engagement to Nastya Shubskaya (daughter of Vera Glagoleva) whom he subsequently married.
Bold indicates led league
Ovechkin made NHL history in 2009-10 by capturing First Team honors in each of his first five NHL seasons
At 19, he was the youngest player in the tournament.
Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin...will serve as an "official ambassador" for the 2014 Sochi Games, officials said yesterday.