Alexander Ovechkin is undeniably one of the best of his generation and will no doubt be seen in the history books for years to come. But are there signs showing that Ovechkin doesn't care about being one of the best ever? He plays hard, but he parties harder when he has time. Without any farther ado, let's take a look at why Ovechkin seems to not care about his legacy.
While Alexander Ovechkin seems to have calmed down this offseason to focus on training, in the past it looked like Ovechkin believed that the offseason meant nothing but partying.
The lack of any big public parties this offseason makes it look like Ovechkin may actually care about improving his game to another level but it will take a few offseasons like this to make us really believe he's serious about his game.
While other players step up their games in the playoffs, Alex Ovechkin steps down.
Ovechkin hasn't made it very far in the playoffs during his career, which can't be totally pinned on him since this is a team sport, but good playoff runs can make a player's legacy.
To be one of the best players ever, he can't just perform during the regular season, he has to perform in the playoffs, making it deeper into the rounds, and winning at least one Cup.
Ovechkin is great at moving the puck, but he's also great at hitting other players coming up the wall. There's definitely not much bad about this since hitting is a big part of hockey (and helps his team get the puck), but spending even more time moving the puck could help him farther his stats and his legacy, especially in the playoffs.
Alexander Ovechkin is a good team player, celebrating just as hard when teammates score as when he does, but he doesn't seem to jump into the leadership role that comes with being captain.
Sure, he can be encouraging, but to be the best ever, you have to have other qualities than just scoring talent and he doesn't seem to care too much about being more than a cheerleader and someone to talk to the refs.
This may come with the maturity jacket, which Ovechkin seems to be putting on this year, but before he can be truly great, he needs to master the leader role. If he can get this down, he may be able to knock almost everything else off his list and show he really does care about the best ever title.
If Ovie is just going to be one of the best ever in the NHL, he just needs to get that Stanley Cup monkey off his back. If he wants to be the best ever in hockey, period, he needs to win not only the Stanley Cup but also the Olympic Gold Medal.
Ovechkin does has some international titles on his resume, including a World Championship gold in 2008, but in order to be one of the best in all of hockey, he should have that gold medal around his neck (Ovechkin did score five goals, including the the goal that eliminated Canada in 2006).
It seems that international competitions are more for Russia than Ovechkin, which makes you wonder if he really cares if he wins to better his stats or just to bring glory back to his country.
At Ovechkin's end of the year news conference, he said "I will represent my country." when asked about the World Championships this year. That to me looks more like country pride than individual pride.
While there's no doubt that Alexander Ovechkin is one of the best hockey players in the league right now, and will probably go into the hockey record books for what he's done, he just doesn't seem like he cares too much about the long term fame.
This really isn't a bad thing, but if he doesn't care about his long term impact then it opens up the question of how he feels about his impact on the sport today.