By Cara Bahniuk
Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis spoke to the media on Friday morning and one of the biggest topics of the conversation was negotiations on Alex Ovechkin’s new contract.
After Brian MacLellan set expectations that a deal could be done as early as training camp, there seemingly has been no news.
Leonsis is not worried though.
“I’m not concerned. He’s not concerned. Our concern is the Boston Bruins,” Leonsis said according to the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. “Alex has been around a long, long time & has a lot of trust and confidence in us & knows the most important thing right now is to focus on the playoffs.”
Leonsis then made this pitch for the Capitals’ captain to re-sign per The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bshir.
“Alex knows that if he plays five more years, 10 more years, whatever it is, we’ve got his back,” Leonsis said. “Our commitment to him is to continue to have great teams. We’ll spend to the cap, we’ll try to win championships. And that’s what he’s focused on because that will be his legacy.”
Ovechkin’s 13-year, $124 million contract will end after this season, and while a new deal is a high priority, the two parties appear, at least from the outside, to have not made much progress.
The timeline of communications is:
Which brings us to today: the team is focusing on the playoffs.
“With Alex, it’s why I’ll never take him for granted, I’ll never take our relationship for granted, I beg the fan base not to take Alex Ovechkin for granted,” Leonsis said. “We’ve won a Stanley Cup, we want to win more Stanley Cups. We’ve built DC into a hockey town.
“Alex buying into a women’s soccer team, to me, was just a natural organic expression of him saying, ‘I love Washington DC and I love this community… Alex is happy.”
The Capitals start their first-round series against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
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