Ranking the Top 10 Washington Capitals players of all time
Top 10 Capitals players of all time
A lot of great players have come through Washington in the 43 seasons of the Washington Capitals. But who are the best? Here's a look at the 10 best players to ever play as a Cap.
10. Dennis Maruk
Before there was Alex Ovechkin, there was Dennis Maruk. Maruk played only five seasons in Washington, but made a huge impact offensively with 50 goals in 1980-81 and 60 goals in 1981-82 as part of a 136-point season. That still ranks as the most points in a single season in team history by a wide margin.
9. Olaf Kolzig
Braden Holtby may soon surpass Olaf Kolzig, but you can't keep Kolzig off the list as the franchise leader in wins and shutouts, a Vezina winner and the only goalie to lead this team to a conference championship. He outdueled one of the greatest to every play the game, Dominik Hasek, to lead Washington over the Buffalo Sabres in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals.
8. Kevin Hatcher
Kevin Hatcher was an incredible talent on both ends of the ice as both a stout defensive player and an offensive threat. In 1992-93, he scored 34 goals and 45 assists. The Caps made it to the playoffs in each of his 10 seasons with the team.
7. Dale Hunter
Some may remember Dale Hunter more for his feistiness on the ice or his brief stint as head coach of the team, but Hunter was a great player in his own right. He served as captain of the team from 1994 to 1999 and scored one of the most famous goals in team history with his overtime winner in Game 7 against the Philadelphia Flyers in 1988.
6. Nicklas Backstrom
Always in the shadow of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom rarely gets the credit he deserves. Make no mistake, he is clearly one of the top players the team has ever seen. Not only is he one of the top setup men in the entire NHL, he is also the first Capitals player ever to eclipse the 500 assist mark, And let's not forget his defensive acumen either. Backstrom is one of the best shutdown forwards on the team, making him a phenomenal all-around player.
5. Scott Stevens
You probably think of Scott Stevens as a New Jersey Devil, but before he donned the black and red he spent eight seasons of his Hall of Fame career in Washington. He was every bit the physical presence on the blue line in Washington as he was in New Jersey. His 1,628 penalty minutes as a Cap still ranks second in franchise history.
4. Peter Bondra
Peter Bondra owned many of the franchise's offensive records until some guy named Alex Ovechkin came around. Bondra came just 28 goals shy of 500 in his 14 seasons in Washington before getting traded as part of the infamous rebuild. He remains a fan favorite among Caps fans.
3. Mike Gartner
Mike Gartner spent the majority of his Hall of Fame career playing with the Capitals. In his nine full seasons in Washington, he never scored fewer than 68 points. He is also one of the fastest players to ever play the game. His record as the fastest skater was only just broken by Dylan Larkin in 2016.
2. Rod Langway
It took awhile for hockey to catch on in Washington and it's not hyperbole to say the trade that landed the Caps Rod Langway saved the franchise. The Secretary of Defense helped lead the Caps to their first-ever playoff berth in 1983. The team reached the playoffs in each of his 11 seasons in Washington. He also won the Norris Trophy twice as the league's top defenseman.
1. Alex Ovechkin
No surprise here. Alex Ovechkin is already the franchise leader in goals and points, is the greatest goal scorer of his generation and one of the greatest players of all-time. And he's still just 31 years old.