Watching from the Glendale Arena press box, George McPhee saw his young star's every move. He watched as Alex Ovechkin got tangled up with Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Paul Mara, fell to the ice and shot the puck into the net from a near-impossible angle on his back.
McPhee, then the Washington Capitals' general manager, said to himself: "This is going to resonate."
It did. The highlight-reel goal on Jan. 16, 2006, exemplified the 20-year-old Ovechkin's absurd ability.
"You could really feel the announcement of the superstar," Capitals teammate Brooks Laich said. "That moment, it was against Wayne Gretzky's team, who was the best player the game...