Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are no longer the best players of the National Hockey League (NHL) because they were overshadowed by young and exciting talents, but they once “saved” the Bettman circle.
According to the captain of the Washington Capitals, his arrival, combined with the arrival of his arch-rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005, brought a breath of fresh air to the NHL.
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“We saved the league. Now that (the new stars) are here, I guess we’re just old news. But we saved him. Now it’s up to these guys to prove to me that we’re not the best anymore,” Ovechkin told The Athletic’s Rob Rossi, citing Connor McDavid and Connor Bedard, in an op-ed published Thursday.
Same story from Crosby’s side. No. 87 is aware that he and Ovechkin, who is in his late 30s, are nearing the end, but he hopes to be at the top for a while longer.
“Hopefully there’s still time before we get passed over,” the top of the 2005 draft class said.
So the message has been sent and the two men intend to continue to prove their worth.
Ovechkin, who was first selected at the auction in 2004, had to wait for the 2005-2006 season. to make his Bettman circuit debut as the previous campaign was canceled due to the lockout. He and Crosby broke the 100-point plateau that year and quickly became the league’s brightest stars.
They helped bring fans back to the stands and in front of the TV. During their career, the Russian and the Canadian met in the playoffs four times (2009, 2016, 2017 and 2018), which most times resulted in a quality spectacle.
Ovechkin finally managed to get rid of the “Pens” in 2018, on the way to his only Stanley Cup. Crosby had the honor of lifting the precious trophy three times during his career.