WASHINGTON -- The newest member of the NHL 500-goal club, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, was honored with a ceremony celebrating his achievement before the game against the Vancouver Canucks at Verizon Center on Thursday.
Ovechkin became the 43rd NHL player to score 500 goals, on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators.
A video tribute to Ovechkin included messages from Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito, Teemu Selanne and Wayne Gretzky congratulating him on joining their ranks.
"You're fun to watch, you're positive for the National Hockey League, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future," Gretzky said. "Well done."
A replay of Ovechkin’s 500th goal was played on the video board, and Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis presented Ovechkin with a golden hockey stick engraved with the date of the goal and other milestones.
"It's quite a feat to get 500 goals in the National Hockey League; I don’t think that you're through," Esposito said. "I think you can get 600 and maybe even 700."