Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was named the recipient of the Best Male Athlete at the 2018 ESPYS in Wednesday night, becoming the first NHL player to win the award since the inaugural ESPYs in 1993. Ovechkin beat out Jose Altuve (Houston Astros), James Harden (Houston Rockets) and Tom Brady (New England Patriots).
Presenter, actress Kate Beckinsale, thought it was “quite funny” that she had to accept the award on Ovechkin’s behalf. She explained, “He’s in Russia with his wife, who is eight and half months pregnant.”
FROM CAPITALS MEDIA RELEASE
Following a 49-goal season, Ovechkin won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer for NHL-record seventh time. Ovechkin is tied with Bobby Hull for the most times a single player has led the NHL in goals in a season. This postseason, the Moscow, Russia, native captured his first Conn Smythe Trophy and became the first Russian player to captain a Stanley Cup champion. Ovechkin ranks first in franchise history in goals (607), points (1,122), power play goals (229), game-winning goals (102), overtime goals (22), shots (4,896) and multi-goal games (120). Additionally, since entering the NHL at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (607), points (1,122), power-play goals (229), power play points (436), game-winning goals (102) and shots (4,896). Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals since 1998-99 and shots since the 1994-95 season despite beginning his NHL career in 2005. Ovechkin, 32, became the second player since the 1967-68 expansion era to lead the NHL in goals at the age of 32 or older (Phil Esposito led the NHL twice in goals just before his 33rd and 34th birthday).
Ovechkin recorded his 1,100th career point (592g, 508a) on Feb. 15 against the Minnesota Wildand became the 61st player in NHL history to reach the 1,100-point milestone, reaching the feat in his 978th career game. Only 23 players required fewer games to accumulate 1,100 career points, with Jaromir Jagr (825 games, played on Nov. 30, 2001 as a member of the Capitals) the last to hit the mark in less than 1,000 games. Additionally, Ovechkin, who on Jan. 11, 2017, became the lone Capitals player to compile 1,000 career points (880 GP) and became the 26th player in NHL history to require fewer than 100 contests to move from 1,000 to 1,100 (98 GP).
The Capitals were also finalists for the Best Team category.
The ESPYs gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The ESPYs honor ESPN’s commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993.