Alex Ovechkin’s 13-year, $124 million contract officially ends on July 28. The Capitals and its superstar captain met on a contract extension multiple times during the season — Ovechkin is representing himself in the negotiations — but beyond some optimistic quotes, not much is known where things actually stand.
“I want to finish my career here,” Ovechkin said at the end of the season. “I’m pretty sure we will do something soon.”
“I think both sides are interested,” MacLellan added. “We want Ovi. The ownership wants Ovi to finish his career here. Everyone wants him to finish his career (here). He’s saying the same thing. I think we’ll get it worked out in the end.”
“Alex knows that if he plays five more years, 10 more years, whatever it is, we’ve got his back,” Capitals majority owner, Ted Leonsis, said earlier in May. “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.”
On Monday, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported what he knows and it seems to point to what everyone is assuming.
14. I can’t find anyone in the NHL who thinks Alexander Ovechkin’s extension isn’t already “in the drawer.”
By “in the drawer”, Friedman is saying that the contract extension is essentially done, but the player and team are waiting to announce it. This would point to the popular theory that Ovechkin and the Capitals are waiting until after the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft is over to announce the deal. With Ovechkin saying he wants to end his career with the Capitals, the Kraken would be unlikely to waste a draft pick on him, which would then allow the Caps to protect an extra skater like TJ Oshie.
The Capitals employed the same strategy, ironically enough, with Oshie when he was an unrestricted free agent several years ago. Two days after the Vegas Golden Knights Expansion Draft concluded on June 21, 2017, the Capitals announced they re-signed the Osh Babe to a mega eight-year, $46 million extension. While the Capitals lost young star, Nate Schmidt, to Vegas, the Capitals kept enough of its depth and core, including Oshie, to win its first championship the next season.
Headline illustration: Drawer illustration from Pixabay, Photo of MedStar Capitals Iceplex by Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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