The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) today announced Alexander Ovechkin as the inaugural recipient of the 2009-10 Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the "Most Outstanding Player" in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA. Ted Lindsay was on hand to present the players' award as part of the 2010 NHL Awards, held at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Ted Lindsay Award finalists, Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, were also in attendance.
"I'd like to congratulate Alex Ovechkin on receiving this award after another great year. Receiving this nod of respect from your peers carries a lot of meaning, and I know Alex will cherish this honour," said Lindsay, following the presentation of the first Ted Lindsay Award.
Ovechkin, of Moscow, Russia, is now the three-time defending recipient of the NHLPA's "Most Outstanding Player" award, the first player since Wayne Gretzky to do so and also just the third player out of the award's 22 recipients to accomplish this feat (along with Guy Lafleur, 1975-76 – 1977-78). He appeared in 72 games for the Washington Capitals in 2009-10, finishing amid the top-three players in the league in points (109) and goals (50), while leading the Capitals to their third-consecutive Southeast Division title in 2009-10, as well as to the first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history. This is the third straight season that Ovechkin reached the 100-point plateau and tallied more than 50 goals – reaching the 50-goal plateau for the fourth time in his five-year career.
On April 29, 2010, the Ted Lindsay Award was introduced, and it remains the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established by the Lester B. Pearson Award. The Award honours Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership and his role in establishing the original Players' Association.
In recognition of being named the 2009-10 Ted Lindsay Award winner, Ovechkin was presented with an elegant men's watch from Breitling.