1,500 Points and the Price of Silence: The Shadow Over Ovechkin's Triumph

The assist he recorded was his jubilee 1,500. points in his career and thus became only the 16th hockey player in history to do so

by Sededin Dedovic
1,500 Points and the Price of Silence: The Shadow Over Ovechkin's Triumph
© Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin made hockey history Thursday night, becoming just the 16th player ever to score 1,500 career points. The veteran forward assisted on the Capitals' fourth goal against the Dallas Stars, marking a significant milestone in his journey.

However, the celebratory mood was spoiled by Washington's eventual penalty shootout loss. However, the focus remained on Ovechkin's achievement. His 1,500 points now sit proudly alongside his impressive tally of 827 goals and 673 assists in 1,370 games.

Close ties with the Russian president

Ovechkin's dedication and skill have made him a beloved figure in Washington, D.C., where he is considered the best hockey player the city has ever seen. However, his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin have overshadowed his achievements in recent years.

Journalist Ben Rotenberg, known for his criticism of athletes with dubious political affiliations, expressed strong disapproval of Ovechkin's continued popularity amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. He questioned the appropriateness of celebrating Ovechkin while other athletes face sanctions for far less significant ties to the Russian regime.

"With all the Russian and Belarusian athletes facing sanctions and with so many minor ties to Putin and this war, that Putin's superfan Alex Ovechkin can still be adored as an NHL star and have everyone rooting for him as he chases records is incredibly inappropriate.

", wrote Ben Rotenberg.

Ovechkin wants peace in the world

His relationship with Putin is well documented. He often met with the Russian president, publicly expressed his support, and even commented on the war in Ukraine. Although he has expressed a desire for peace and an aversion to violence, his association with Putin remains a contentious issue.

"It is important that everything ends soon and that there is peace in both countries. Putin is my president, but as I said before, I am not in politics. I am an athlete. It is difficult on both sides and the only important thing is that it ends,, No I don't want to see war in Ukraine, Russia, or anywhere in the world.

I don't want to see wounded and killed. I hope that soon we will live in a good world," said the Washington Capitals' best player in franchise history. Despite the controversy surrounding him, Ovechkin's accomplishments on the ice remain undeniable.

He is still a force on the ice, the most efficient player of his team with 15 points (5 goals and 10 assists) this season in 23 matches.