The Great 8: A look back at Ovechkin’s 15 years in DC (photos)

Oct. 5 marks the 15th anniversary of Alex Ovechkin’s first game, both in the NHL and as a Washington Capital.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft scored twice in that game, a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ovi went on to win the Calder Trophy that year, as the league’s top rookie, and made the league’s All-Star team.

Since then, he has become a 10-time All-Star and has won the Conn Smythe Trophy — and, most notably, helped bring the Stanley Cup to D.C. He has also won the local fanbase’s collective heart along the way.

Here now are some choice images from The Great Eight’s career in Washington.


How’s Alex Ovechkin’s first Capitals game set the tone for what was to come


 

A 19-year-old Ovi holds up his new team jersey with the Caps’ vice president and general manager George McPhee during a September 2005 news conference at the MCI Center. He was the No. 1 draft pick in 2004 but had to wait because of the league lockout.

On Jan. 16, 2006, Ovechkin shot the puck from over his head after being checked to the ice by Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Paul Mara. Caps fans today remember the acrobatic score simply as “The Goal.”

Alex Ovechkin and the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby skate in February 2006. The two rising stars would become the marquee names associated with the Washington-Pittsburgh rivalry.

Ovechkin was awarded the Art Ross and Maurice Rocket Richard trophies — for league points leader and leading goal scorer, respectively — in May 2008. Ovi scored 65 goals in the 2007-2008 season.

Ovechkin airs it out before the 2011 Winter Classic at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field in December 2010.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ovechkin pose with a certificate of recognition in May 2012. The Russian national team won the IIHF World Championship that year. Also pictured are Russian ice hockey federation president Vladislav Tretiak and Russia’s team captain, Ilya Nikulin.

Ovi high-fives his “date,” 10-year-old Ann, following a Caps game against Carolina in October 2014. Ann asked Ovechkin on a date during a skate he hosted at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, and Ovechkin surprised her by granting her request during the Capitals’ final preseason game.

Ovechkin celebrates after winning the 2015 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park on New Year’s Day.

A large photo of Ovechkin adorns Nationwide Arena during the 2015 NHL All-Star weekend in Columbus, Ohio.

Ovechkin celebrates his 51st goal of the season during an April 2015 game with the Canadiens in Montreal.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Gregory Campbell closes in on Ovechkin during an October 2015 home game.

Ovi and his now-wife, Nastasiya, dressed up as Batman and the Catwoman for Halloween in 2015. Also pictured is their pup, Blaik.

Ovechkin celebrates his 500th career NHL goal during a home game against Ottawa in January 2016.

A happy Ovechkin speaks with reporters after scoring his 500th and 501st career NHL goals. The Capitals beat Ottawa 7-1 in that game.

Ovechkin keeps his eyes on the puck during a March 2016 game against Vladimir Tarasenko and the St. Louis Blues.

Fatima Al Ali — an Abu Dhabi-based ice hockey player, coach and referee — talks with Ovechkin during a Caps practice in February 2017.

Ovechkin cutouts cover the seats before a February 2017 game with the Los Angeles Kings. Ovechkin was honored during a pregame ceremony for recording his 1,000th NHL point.

Ovechkin sits on the bench during Game 4 of the 2017 Eastern Conference semifinal against Pittsburgh. The Penguins won that series and went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Caps got their playoff revenge against the Pens in 2018.

Outside Capital One Arena, Ovechkin ducked out of practice to visit with players from the American Special Hockey Association in September 2017.

Ovechkin holds the Prince of Wales trophy in May 2018, after the Capitals beat Tampa Bay in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Ovechkin hoists the Stanley Cup in June 2018, after the Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Ovechkin celebrates with his hardware during the June 12, 2018, Stanley Cup victory celebration on the National Mall.

Ovechkin walks into the Nationals’ dugout with the Stanley Cup before Washington’s June 9, 2018, game with the San Francisco Giants.

President Donald Trump visits with Ovechkin and the rest of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions on March 25, 2019, in the Oval Office.

Ovechkin poses with the puck that marked his 700th NHL goal — scored Feb. 22 against the New Jersey Devils in Newark.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up