The Sporting News lists its "Best by Number" rankings, and makes a wise choice on number eight (and I'll leave the debate over whether NASCAR drivers are even eligible "players" to you guys):
8. Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington CapitalsH/t to Ted's Take on the link.
Contender: Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR driver.
This number represents a battle of icons -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the unquestioned face of NASCAR. Ovechkin is fast becoming an icon for the Capitals.
Earnhardt and Ovechkin share more than a number. Each is better than the team that surrounds him. They also have number roots in common. Junior drives the No. 8, as did his grandfather. Ovechkin chose No. 8 because his mother, who played basketball in the Olympics for the Soviet Union, wore it.
We chose Ovechkin over Earnhardt as the best 8 because Ovechkin is more of an elite hockey player than Earnhardt is an elite driver. At the very least, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch are better drivers than Junior. There are not four hockey players more talented than Ovechkin.