WASHINGTON (AP) -Alex Ovechkin has been selected as the Washington Capitals' team captain.
Ovechkin took the ice for Tuesday's home game against Montreal wearing the captain's "C" on his sweater. He was chosen by Capitals vice president George McPhee and coach Bruce Boudreau, who informed the team of their decision Tuesday morning, according to a team release.
The 24-year-old Ovechkin becomes the 14th captain in team history and is Washington's first European-born captain. He has served as one of the Capitals' alternate captains since his second NHL season, and replaces Chris Clark, who was traded to Columbus on Dec. 28.
Ovechkin, the two-time defending Hart Trophy winner as the NHL's most valuable player, leads the Capitals with 26 goals and 50 points entering Tuesday. The Moscow native becomes the sixth Russian-born player to captain an NHL club and he and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk are the only active Russians to serve as team captains.
When Ovechkin took the ice for pregame warmups, there was no outward sign of the captaincy, other than the "C" that had replaced an "A" on his jersey. Ovechkin assumed his regular position along the far boards for stretching exercises and an announcement displayed on the scoreboard about his new role drew polite applause.