Alex Ovechkin reflects on decade as Capitals captain


Alex Ovechkin’s decade as captain of the Washington Capitals feels like a blur to him at times.

So much has happened for him and the Capitals that the anniversary, which the 34-year-old forward will celebrate against the San Jose Sharks at Capital One Arena on Sunday (12:30 ET; ESPN+, SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, NBCSCA, NHL.TV), snuck up on him.

“Time flies,” Ovechkin said Saturday. “I remember that moment. Obviously, in that 10 years, there have been ups and downs, lots of situations, but it was a great experience.”

Ovechkin ranks 12th in NHL history with 682 goals in 15 seasons, and with 24 goals this season, he is closing in on becoming the eighth player in League history to reach 700. But the crowning achievement for him as captain was leading the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Ovechkin was the first Russian-born captain to win the Cup and, after years of postseason disappointments, put to rest for good questions about his leadership and ability to win.

“Lots of people said, ‘This organization and this guy are never going to win,'” Ovechkin said. “So, how I say? … We did it and I was the first (Russian) captain to win it and raise it.”