Alex Ovechkin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season when his landmark 13-year, $124 million contract expires.
What isn’t clear is if the coronavirus pandemic has affected Ovechkin’s desire to continue playing or if he’s seriously considered leaving the only NHL team he’s ever known. The answer to both questions is a resounding no.
Когда и где Александр Овечкин, один из самых известных мировых хоккеистов, завершит свою звездную карьеру?
Ответ на этот и многие другие вопросы — уже завтра в 19:00 в новом выпуске «Специального гостя» с Тиной Канделаки! pic.twitter.com/OsEv9EiZ84
— RTVI (@RTVi) November 4, 2020
While speaking with Russian Television International, Ovechkin revealed that he’d like to play for another two to five seasons in the NHL with the Capitals and then play his final game with Dynamo Moscow, the Russian hockey team he started his career with and now serves as an advisor. Ovechkin played five seasons with Dynamo (2001-2005, 2012) and recently was honored at a game.
Here is the full translation of the conversation via RMNB’s Igor Kleyner.
You have a 13 year contract ending next year – are you planning to renew it? Is it going to be better? Or is your role going to end?
Alex Ovechkin: No, I have a certain goal I am trying to achieve after my career ends, but it is not over yet. I am still at the top of my game. I think I will continue playing for at least a few more years, and, of course, I hope my health is good, I would like to finish it here, with Dynamo Moscow.”
You are joking…
Alex Ovechkin: No.
You really are going to finish your career playing for Dynamo?
Alex Ovechkin: Yes, well, after a certain number of years that I will spend with, god willing, the Washington Capitals.
So you do want to stay there?
Alex Ovechkin: Yes.
Is it a question of money? What if someone offers you more?
Alex Ovechkin: No, it is not a question of money. It is just a matter of principal. I have only played for two teams, Dynamo and Washington. Obviously, I will stay with Washington for another two… three… four… five years. And then I would like to finish on a high note, to play my final game with Dynamo.
If Ovechkin chooses to play five more seasons in the NHL that would mean his NHL career would end at 40. It’d also give him a shot at catching Wayne Gretzky’s NHL goals record of 894. Ovi trails the Great One by 188 goals and would need to average 31.3 goals per season (including a presumed pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season) to reach Gretzky’s high water mark.
“You probably never gonna see me on the ice again,” Ovechkin joked to ESPN last year after being asked what he’d do if he overtook Gretzky. He added he’d instantly retire. “Yeah, right away. See ya!”
Ovechkin had one of his best season pro last season at age 34. The Russian machine scored 48 goals in 68 games and secured his ninth Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer. Ovechkin also led the Capitals in playoff goals with four in eight games.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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