Alex Ovechkin is 34-years-old and only 194 goals away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s once-thought-to-be-insurmountable goal record (894). Ovechkin’s bucked the aging curve and shown remarkable consistency, scoring 49 or more goals in five of the last six seasons. With 43 goals already in 2019-20, he looks well on his way to doing so again with 18 Capitals games remaining.
Recently, Ovechkin spoke to NBC Sports Washington’s Craig Laughlin in a network special called Chasing Gr8ness. Laughlin read Ovechkin back a quote from June 2018 after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup.
“Okay, now I have a quote from you in 2018. This is a quote,” Laughlin said. “‘I don’t think it’s possible to beat that record. You have to play until you’re 60. Jagr tried it and couldn’t. Everything is much more difficult now.’ Do you still feel the same way with you getting so close to Gretzky?”
“Well, it’s not close,” Ovechkin, who recently celebrated scoring 700 goals, said. “It’s almost 200 goals. And I think, if I would score right now 800 goals, it’s still 100 goals.  right? So it’s still a lot. I don’t think it’s possible, but – how I said – you have to play long enough to get that milestone – to get closer.”
Ovechkin has one year left in a 13-year, $124 million contract he originally signed on January 10, 2008. If Ovechkin were to score seven more goals this year and a pedestrian 40 next year, he’d just have to average 36 per season in a four-year contract extension that would bring him through his age 39 season. At some point, aging has to catch up to him, but the thing is, it hasn’t yet.
Unlike Ovechkin, I think it is possible now if he chooses to play that long.
He’s a machine after all. Your thoughts?
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