Alex Ovechkin, left, laughs with Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, right, after receiving the key to the city Friday. (Stephen J Boitano/Associated Press)
"Today is a big day," said Ovechkin, standing on the front steps of city hall. "I have a key for the city. And I'm the president this day in the city, so everybody have fun — and no speed limit!"
One day after the native of Russia claimed the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player, he received the key to the city Friday in Washington from Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
Ovechkin, 22, was honoured as the city's first MVP in a major North American sport since quarterback Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins accomplished the feat in 1983.
On display at the event were the Hart and Pearson trophies, as well as the Rocket Richard Trophy for his NHL-best 65 goals and the Art Ross Trophy for his league-high 112 points.
Ovechkin is the first NHL player to win all four awards in the same season and the collection made for an impressive display of hardware before the hundreds of fans chanting "M-V-P!"
"Who said Washington wasn't a hockey town?" Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said.
Ovechkin met with Fenty and the District of Columbia council before moving on to a more casual gathering at a Leonsis-hosted exclusive party at a downtown restaurant.
Source: CBCCports.ca, June 13, 2008