Ovechkin Declines Captaincy

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin recently informed the team that he doesn't feel ready to take over as captain, and yesterday an NHL source confirmed the 20-year-old Russian won't be wearing the "C" on his jersey this season.

Capitals Coach Glen Hanlon said in July that Ovechkin, the reigning NHL rookie of the year, would be among those considered to replace Jeff Halpern .

"This year I'm not ready because my English isn't good enough," Ovechkin told the Canadian Press yesterday in Toronto. "If I need to say something to the team . . . it's hard. The captain is very important, you must be a leader all the time."

With training camp set to begin on Sept. 15, the leading candidates to assume the captaincy are Brian Sutherby , Chris Clark and Dainius Zubrus . Halpern signed with Dallas as a free agent in July. . . .

San Jose Sharks forward Mark Bell was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and felony hit-and-run after an early-morning accident on Monday in San Jose.

· GOLF: Thomas Bjorn apologized to European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam after calling their friendship "completely dead."

Bjorn reacted angrily Monday after Woosnam selected Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood as his captain's picks.

· PARALYMPICS: Tatyana McFadden , 17, of Clarksville, set a world record yesterday in the women's T54 100 meters at the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Assen, Netherlands. McFadden's time of 16.31 seconds topped the former record of 16.33 held by Canada's Chantal Petitclerc .

· SOFTBALL: Jessica Mendoza and Crystl Bustos hit back-to-back homers to lift the United States to the gold medal with a 3-0 victory over Japan at the world championships in Beijing.

· COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Josh Pinkard , the starting free safety for Southern Cal, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the third-ranked Trojans' 50-14 victory over Arkansas on Saturday and won't play again this season.

· AUTO RACING: Dario Franchitti suffered a concussion in a crash during Friday's qualifying for a vintage auto race in England and will miss the Indy Racing League's season finale on Sunday. A.J. Foyt IV will take his place.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

© 2006 The Washington Post Company