ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Hockey League announced today that Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is one of three finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.”
New York Islanders forward John Tavares and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber have also been nominated. The winner will be announced during the 2016 NHL Awards, which will be held on Wednesday, June 22, at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s state-of-the-art concert and entertainment venue.
Ovechkin reached the 50-goal milestone for the seventh time this season to power the team to the Presidents’ Trophy as well as a franchise-record 56 wins. Off the ice, he expanded his relationship with the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA). For the second consecutive season, Ovechkin hosted nearly 60 children and adolescents during a unique skating session at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in October.
An official spokesman for ASHA, Ovechkin received Washingtonian Magazine’s “Washingtonian of the Year” award in January for his work with special needs children. Since the 2014-15 season, with Ovechkin's support, ASHA has launched additional programs around the country, including one in Hershey, Pa., where Washington's AHL affiliate is located.
He also continued his Ovi’s Crazy 8s program, which was created in 2006 to provide Capitals season tickets for Most Valuable Kids and ASHA. To date the program has provided nearly 3,500 children, soldiers and their families with the opportunity to see a Capitals home game free of charge.