By Ian Oland
Alex Ovechkin will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, but the Washington Capitals don’t even want to entertain that thought.
The team talked about a new contract with Ovechkin at the end of the 2020 playoffs. Afterward, both sides agreed to table talks until training camp.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said earlier in the week that those plans haven’t changed and reiterated the team’s desire to retain one of the greatest scorers in NHL history for the rest of his career.
“I think it’s status quo,” MacLellan said. “Once we get to camp, hopefully, we have time or the space to get together, and we’ll go from there. We want Alex coming back. We said all along we’d talk at the beginning of the year and hopefully, we get a chance to do that during camp.”
Capitals training camp is scheduled to open on January 3. Ovechkin returned to the United States on Sunday, flying over from Russia with Caps teammate Dmitry Orlov and Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin.
Previously, in the fall, MacLellan said, “I think we had a good conversation at the end of the year with Ovi. Just to have both parties communicate what they’re thinking and kind of set the table for what could happen next year as far as keeping him around and moving forward with a contract with him.”
The 35-year-old Ovechkin has been eligible to sign a contract extension since July 13, 2020 — three days after the ratification of the NHL’s new CBA. Ovi has said in Russian language interviews that he hopes to re-sign for as many as five years with the Caps before retiring in Russia with Dynamo Moscow– the first professional team he ever played for.
Ovechkin is expected to ask for a contract for as much as $12 million per season. Russian sites have speculated that the Capitals offered Ovi a deal worth an AAV of $9.5-10 million per season with a term of three to five years.
“I’ve been playing only for two teams in my life: Dynamo Moscow and the Caps. I don’t like too much to change teams,” Ovechkin said.
Let’s hope that doesn’t change.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.