After one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 36, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin garnered a lot of MVP buzz and finished 10th in Hart Trophy voting.
Ovechkin received four fourth-place votes and two fifth-place votes. Auston Matthews won the award, while Connor McDavid and Igor Shesterkin were the other finalists. The Hart Trophy goes to “the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association vote on the winner.
The Great 8 got off to the best start of his 17-year career and led the Capitals in scoring once again, dishing 50 goals for a record-tying ninth time and added 40 assists for his first 90-point campaign in a decade. He also moved up from sixth on the NHL’s all-time goals list to take sole possession of third and pass Jaromir Jagr as the highest-scoring European player of all time.
Ovechkin currently sits at 780 goals and is 20 away from 800, 22 away from passing Gordie Howe and 115 away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record.
“It is [crazy], but I’m still playing. You never know what’s going to happen in the future. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m happy I did it, and we did it as a team,” Ovechkin said of moving into the top-3 of all-time scorers. “Now it’s just a period of time. And if I can do it, I will. If something happen, I’m happy.”
Thanks to Ovechkin and other pieces as Washington dealt with adversity, injuries and inconsistency, the team was still able to make the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. However, the Capitals fell in six games to the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Washington re-signed Ovechkin to a five-year extension last summer. He needs to average at least 29 goals over the next four seasons to break a five-year contract before his deal expires.
Ovechkin also finished fourth among left wingers for the NHL All-Star teams.