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Ovechkin has fun trying for new car at All-Star draft

by Dan Rosen / Washington Capitals

COLUMBUS -- Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin stole the show Friday with his pleas to be the last pick in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings so he could leave with a new car. His all-star peers got a kick out of watching Ovechkin's comedy act, but in the end, they got the last laugh.

"He wanted the car, but it seems like he always gets exactly what he wants, whether it's goals or Rocket Richard [Trophies]," said Rick Nash, an alternate captain for Team Toews. "The captains had a plan for that."

Ovechkin was selected by Team Foligno with the third-to-last pick.

Ovechkin made it quite obvious from the start of the show that he wanted the new car, the gift usually presented to the last pick in the fantasy draft. He announced his goal in an interview with NBCSN's Pierre McGuire before the show began. Ovechkin later held up a sign that read, "I WANT TO BE LAST. NEED A CAR," during a backstage interview with McGuire.

Then he videobombed an interview McGuire was doing with Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano to express his desire to be picked last.

But as badly as Ovechkin wanted it, the reality is he had no chance of getting his wish. That was predetermined by the captains for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game to be played Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Jonathan Toews, Nick Foligno, Drew Doughty, Patrick Kane, Ryan Getzlaf and Nash conspired against Ovechkin.

"He was lobbying to go last in the draft to get the car, so we had it planned that he was going third to last no matter what," said Doughty, an alternate captain for Team Foligno. "He's not too happy about it, but we made it all funny."

They did so without the knowledge that this year's draft featured a twist: The last two picks each received a 2015 Honda Accord. By selecting him third to last, they ensured Ovechkin had no chance to get some new wheels.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Filip Forsberg got the cars instead. Toews said Ovechkin made his own bed with all of his lobbying.

"There was a little bit of talk before the whole event that we might let him slide to the end and let him sweat a little bit, then I think he embraced the fact a little bit too much for his own interest," Toews said. "So unfortunately he didn't come away with the car, but we'd have liked to have him our team too."

Ovechkin's antics Friday went over well with his fellow all-stars. They enjoyed watching one of the NHL's biggest superstars steal the stage with his comedy act.

"I loved it," Doughty said. "He's a character. He's not afraid to be who he is. I think that's something other guys can kind of look up to. He's himself all the time and I love that about him."

Toews said, "There's never a dull moment with Ovi."

Kane was hoping the fans enjoyed Ovechkin's show too.

"It was great," Kane said. "That's what the fans are looking for and to laugh about when enjoying the show. You don't want to just go up there and make the picks."

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko said he expected Ovechkin to do something to steal the show.

"I know what kind of guy he is; he makes people laugh and he tells some jokes," Tarasenko said. "He's a superstar. That's his job."

Nash also praised Ovechkin.

"I think it's great to have a guy like that in the game as your star," Nash said.

Nugent-Hopkins got a kick out of being backstage with Ovechkin throughout the show.

"He's definitely a comical guy and he was having some fun with it," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I think the captains knew that he wanted it so they put on a little show themselves. It was a fun night, but when a guy puts on a show like that it makes it even more fun. He's a funny guy and that makes for good TV."

That was the point of the show after all. Ovechkin embraced it.

"People are always asking to get rid of the robotics, get rid of the clichés, and I think when people see it, they got to respect it and enjoy it," San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said. "I mean, do people want us to be quiet and not talking, or do you guys want us to have fun? At the end of the day, guys can joke around about going last, but I think we are all competitive, so to be able to have fun is really important. To laugh and joke around is good for the game and good for the guys. It is the way the event needs to be."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer

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