Alex Ovechkin was joined in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards by a lot of people. And by a lot of people I mean there were so many people in Ovechkin’s entourage that it took several seconds for the camera to pan and capture them all.
There was his brother Mikhail, his girlfriend Nastya Shubskaya, his close friends Abe Hamrah and Gus, marketing genius David Abrutyn, some excited Russian guy with a mullet, and yeah, I have no idea who the rest of the people are.
The only person missing from Ovechkin’s entourage was… Hey, wait a second!
Carey Price won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, but when the league released the full voting, there was a fun tidbit. Caps netminder/awesome-beard-grower Braden Holtby finished fourth in total voting, two points away from getting a free trip to Las Vegas. Holtby got seven second place and five third place votes.
Surprise! Alex Ovechkin is pretty good at hockey, and he’s picking up more hardware to prove it.
After being robbed of what should have been his fourth Ted Lindsay Award (not that we’re bitter), Ovechkin tonight accepted his sixth Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer. It’s his third consecutive Richard and fifth overall.
Let’s get real for a hot second. I don’t enjoy the NHL Awards. You don’t enjoy the NHL Awards. Why do we insist on pretending we do?
Every year the NHL trots out a mediocre host and a handful of celebrity (?) presenters, mashes them up with a band best known for being one people love to hate (2015: Daughtry, 2014: Phillip Phillips, 2012: Nickelback – you get it), and tries to pretend players would rather be there wearing shirts than at a pool party not wearing shirts. The best year of the NHL Awards was 2013, when there wasn’t an NHL Awards.
Here’s what’s going to happen tonight: Alex Ovechkin will take home the Rocket Richard trophy. That much is certain. He’s also contender for both the Hart Trophy as league MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award as the MVP as voted by the players. If he wins them, you knew he was going to win them, so what’s even the point of watching? If they go to Carey Price, then it was all a sham anyway so why bother?
Instead of suffering through Rob Riggle’s Gary Bettman-approved jokes and big-name celebrities – one half of 90s country duo Brooks & Dunn, Tom Hanks’ son, and Alex Ovechkin’s favorite DJ – awkwardly mispronounce the name Pavel Datsyuk, you should watch something else. Always here to serve, RMNB has put together some recommendations based on tonight’s TV listings.
Let’s face it, Alexander Ovechkin is having a better summer than any of us. While we’re sweating out 96 degrees and a billion percent humidity in our business-casual khakis, the Capitals’ captain is chiiiiillllliiinnng poolside in Vegas with the most random assortment of people imaginable.
And he seems to have lost his shirt.
Here’s a who’s-who of those with whom Ovechkin is hanging out with.
Now, Ovechkin has been recognized as a finalist for the version selected by his peers. Along with Carey Price and Jamie Benn, Ovi is one of three players who could take home the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s “most outstanding player” at the NHL’s postseason awards show in Las Vegas. This is Ovechkin’s sixth Lindsay Award nomination after winning the award three years in a row from 2008-2010. Only Wayne Gretzky, with five wins, and Mario Lemieux, with four, have won more the award more times since it was established in 1971.
Below, here’s the press release from the Capitals.
James Dean day dream. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)
When Barry Trotz took over, some fans were afraid the Capitals would switch to a tight checking, boring style of play, wringing the joy out of watching players like Alex Ovechkin. Far from it. Tonight, Ovechkin was nominated for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the league’s Most Valuable Player award, for the fifth time, having won the award three times before. Though at the tail end of his 20s, Ovechkin has continued to be league’s premier sniper. He ran away with NHL’s goal scoring race by over 10 goals, netting 53 tallies on his way to his third consecutive Rocket Richard Trophy. Ovechkin also finished fourth in the league in points while his 25 power play goals provided the cornerstone for the NHL’s best man advantage unit.
The Hart Trophy is voted on at the end of the regular season by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, with the winners to be announced at the Las Vegas Awards ceremony after the season. The other Hart nominees were Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and John Tavares of the New York Islanders.
Please contain your excitement. Ladies and gentlemen, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has arrived at the NHL Awards and he’s ready to mingle. In classic Ovi form, he has put on his most finely pressed blue suit (which is not at all new) and unbuttoned it. Guido look accomplished. All he needs now is a cigar to complete the look.
The NHL Awards show will be airing live from Las Vegas at 7 pm. Until then, we’ll be updating this post with all of Ovi’s escapades.
The coach and his pupil had dinner on Saturday night (I’m guessing in lawn chairs behind Tiesto’s turntables) and discussed which wing Ovechkin would play, the team’s new system, and well, other stuff that we’re not allowed to know right now so quit asking because it’s private. I guess we’ll find out at training camp.