Alex Ovechkin has won three MVP awards, been named the league’s best player by his peers three times and led the league in goals four times — including each of the past two years — so it was surprising that not one of the “dozen NHL executives, coaches and players” polled by ESPN’s Craig Custance cast a vote for Ovechkin when asked in a July 30 story: If you were starting a franchise from scratch and could choose from any current player in the NHL, who would be your top choice?

Here is how the voting panel “made up of four current team executives (assistant GM or GM), one former GM, four current head coaches, one respected assistant coach and a player from each conference” cast their ballots. It is important to note that the instructions were “to pick the five best players to build a franchise around,” and not take into account any other factors (team, contract, etc.). Votes were “assigned point values for each vote to come up with an overall ranking.”

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators