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Fanspeak: Ovechkin voted greatest player in Caps’ history

Aug 18, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

This summer, NBC Sports’ social media team is conducting the #NHLGreatest initiative, designed for fans to choose the best player in each franchise’s history. Balloting was conducted through three platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — with thousands of votes being cast. The results of this initiative will be released throughout the month of August, in conjunction with PHT’s Team of the Day series.

Washington Capitals

1. Alexander Ovechkin (642)

2. Peter Bondra (384)

3. Rod Langway (176)

4. Olaf Kolzig (153)

5. Mike Gartner (120)

6. Dale Hunter (102)

It’s easy to get lost in all the drama that surrounds the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin – especially after a rough season for both the player and team – and lose track of the fact that No. 8 is having a special career in D.C.

Peter Bondra finished second place in voting and seems primed to be second place all-time in franchise scoring soon; he has 825 points in 961 games with Washington while Ovechkin already has 814 in just 679. Since Ovechkin came into the league in 2005-06, he leads all scorers with 422 goals and 814 points. (He blows everyone else away by more than 100 goals and no one else cracked the 800-point barrier during that span.)

Really, it’s telling that the 28-year-old still easily scored more goals (51) than anyone else during a 2013-14 campaign that was basically a personal nightmare.

Ultimately, those eye-popping numbers tend to inspire harsher criticisms. When you seemingly can score at will, it makes people think that any disappointment can be placed on his shoulders rather than the failings of the team around him.

Ovechkin lost an opportunity for patriotic glory in Sochi, but he has plenty of time to silence his doubters by bringing the Capitals their first-ever Stanley Cup. Either way, it’s difficult to deny that he’s already been the most important player in the franchise’s history.

  1. buffbry - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Pathetic that bondra isn’t #1,fans don’t know crap

    • govtminion - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      Yeah, what would fans of the team know that you don’t, after all?

  2. bmoreredfury311 - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    One cup will shuts up the critics.

    • florida76 - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:34 AM

      Getting just one Cup has been extremely difficult for the Caps, Sabres, Canucks, etc.

      Safe to say Washington has been disappointing as an NHL franchise from both a team and stars perspective. I don’t know if Ovie will ever win a Cup, and that’s a problem when talking about legacy.

  3. bullwinkle88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Who could have seen this coming?

  4. lowenni - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Selke-caliber forward or not, the guy is going to have every offensive record for the Caps except maybe assists by the end of his career here. Could easily give it to Bondra too, one of the most underrated players of the past 30 years, and Kolzig and Langway (best defensive defenseman of all time) were fantastic players too. But, Ovi IS the Capitals now, so I’m not surprised.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    No love for Jim Carey the Net Detective?!

    Just kidding, but these polls are pretty awful, granted I don’t know my Caps history that well but off the top of my head I would have picked either Rod Langway or Olaf Kolzig.

  6. blomfeld - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    YES !!!


    • blomfeldsux - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      My moniker says it all.

  7. cliffatola - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    It should have been Joe Sakic but they traded that first round pick to Quebec for Dale Hunter. How you consider anyone other than Bondra or Kolzig is really a mystery.

  8. watermelon1 - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    Someone beat me to the Jim Carey post. ALLLLLLRIGHTY THEN! Guess that makes me a lay-who-say-her!

  9. 950003cups - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    Caps fans sure surprised me there. I wonder who would win the greatest Devil? My vote would go to Brodeur. Many others would go to Stevens or Neidermayer. Then you have John MacLean. Some would go towards Jagr since he may be the best to play in a Devils sweater.

    • wewantthecup2014 - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      none should go towards jagr…hes not a devil…as a ranger fan i wouldnt even consider him for that and he had an absurd season with them. to be considered greatest player on a team you need some longevity

  10. wranglerick - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    The issue could be old vs new. When it comes to the islanders whats going to happen ?
    Bossy, Trots, Potvin vs JT

  11. selldannysell - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    I would have voted for Rod Langway because of the team’s prior history of losing. When the Caps acquired Langway in that trade with Montreal, he taught the team how to win and his example and play turned them into a perennial playoff contender. Yes, Ovie will own all of the major scoring records. But, the team probably wouldn’t be in Washington now without Langway’s presence.

  12. gbatap - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    Voting results should have been…

    1.Alex Ovechkin
    2. Rod Langway’s moustache
    3. Petr Bontra
    4. Rod Langway

    • bethgoesglobal - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      Don’t forget Craig Laughlan’s buzz-cut.
      You know, the one where you could see straight through to his skull every time he turned his head on TV. It was like one of those ‘moving’ stickers. Funny.

  13. mb30forlife - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    giving the Stature, Hall of fame and 3 stanley cups I am very surprised that Scott Stevens wasn’t ranked above ovechkin….. Yes, Ovi is the best Goal scorer on the caps and in the league right now but no cups. Even though Stevens never won a cup in Washington he was still a beast and a brutal force there just as he was in NJ

    • bethgoesglobal - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:35 AM

      I was wondering about him too. I guess people didn’t think he was in DC long enough, or they just associate him with the Devils.

  14. blomfeldsux - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Ovie will always be #1 in the hearts of Caps fans.

  15. rk70 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:41 PM


  16. bethgoesglobal - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    My vote:

    1. Langway- Easy. Took the Caps to their first post-season and continued to during his entire career in DC (and he never wore a helmet! I thought that was really cool when I was a kid. Talk about hardcore!!)
    2. Bondra
    3. Hunter
    4. Kolzig
    5. Gartner
    6. Stevens

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