Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said over the offseason that he would continue negotiations with Alex Ovechkin on a new extension when the team returned from break. “We’re going to talk when we come back to training camp, continue our conversations (from the end of the season),” MacLellan said.
Before Christmas, MacLellan gave an update and seemed less sure. “[H]opefully, we get a chance to do that during camp.”
Thursday, ahead of the Capitals’ season opener against the Buffalo Sabres, Ovechkin revealed that those negotiations were never restarted.
“Alex, I wanted to follow up on the contract question,” The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir began. “I promise I won’t ask you every day. Have you sat down with Mac yet?”
“No,” Ovechkin says. “We just say hi to each other and that’s it.”
Earlier in the interview, Ovechkin was asked if this season feels any different because he’s a free agent at the end of it.
“I’m not 22 years old when I had to worry about my contract extension,” Ovechkin said. “(I) just have to do my thing. I have to play. I have to get wins and be in the playoffs and try to get it done.”
Previously, Ovechkin addressed contract questions on the first day of training camp.
“It’s our first day so I didn’t see him obviously,” Ovechkin said. “But we have plenty of time.
“I don’t think we are in a rush,” he added. “We understand everything that’s happening right now so whatever is done is done. We’re going to talk and see.”
Ovechkin, 35, is in the final year of a 13-year, $124 million contract he signed in 2008. Both parties over the last year — the organization (Ted Leonsis, Brian MacLellan) and the player — have stated publicly that they’d like to come to a deal.
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