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Alex Ovechkin … A Leader Since His Rookie Year

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
“Ovechkin is a truly magical player on the ice, a creative, thoughtful individual who cannot wait to share his triumphs with teammates, a player who seems destined to lead his club to lofty heights with his passion for the game and devotion to it.”

– The late Dave Fay, The Hockey News, Oct. 4, 2005

“What makes him so special is the fact that he’s a great team player. He works hard. He makes hits. He blocks shots. He gives pep talks to his teammates. And on top of all that, he’s an awesomely skilled player. He has great speed and hands. He’s a big guy who can stand his ground. He knows how to play every aspect of the game.”
– Chicago Blackhawks scout Sakari Pietila in the Washington Times, Oct. 5, 2005

“Those are things you don't teach. Those are the kind of things that are in the belly of a guy. That’s what makes him special. When he scores, look at his facial expressions. That comes from inside and that’s why he’s a special player. He has great skill and is really determined.”
– Then-Florida Panthers head coach Jacques Martin, Miami Herald, Dec. 1, 2005

“I think [the Caps] are approaching it the right way. You can see them coming together as a team. To start becoming successful you need to do it as a team. Even the young kid [Alex Ovechkin], some guys may think he just goes it about his own way, [but] you can see him buying into the team concept. That's the key.”?– Then-Tampa Bay head coach John Tortorella, Oct. 28, 2005

“A great team guy. He really has a lot of passion about wanting the team to do well. He’s very hungry to score goals, but he doesn’t do it in a way where it’s just about him.”?– Former teammate Jeff Friesen, Calgary Herald, Oct. 30, 2006

“We have this world-class, once-in-a-generation player whose personality is becoming the personality of the team, which is: ‘I can try anything. I can do anything.’”
– Ted Leonsis, Associated Press, Oct. 3, 2006

“He’s certainly the kind of guy a team and league wants to stand behind because he never does anything wrong. He’s a 21-year-old kid who … always does the right thing. He respects the game, respects teammates, respects the referees.”
– George McPhee, Vancouver Sun, Oct. 27, 2006

“He dove head first into everything we were doing. He wanted to room with a North American guy so he could learn the language and the culture quicker. I think that helped in the way he played last year because he was comfortable right out of the gate. The rest of the team fed off his energy.”
– Olie Kolzig, Globe and Mail, Oct. 27, 2006
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