USATSI

In a bit of news that’ll surely remind you about the inevitable passage of time, Alex Ovechkin’s 13-year, $124 million contract with the Washington Capitals is set to expire at the end of this upcoming season. In an interview with Russian Television International, Ovi revealed that he’d like to keep playing in the United States’ capital, and that he’d also like to end his career playing pro hockey in Russia’s capital.

First, the bit about him wanting to continue playing in Washington. As for the specifics regarding it, Ovechkin said he wouldn’t want to even think about an extension until the playoffs ended back when the season restart was happening, and then Caps GM Brian MacLellan later said that it would be officially discussed once training camp starts. What the interview Ovi gave does reveal is that he wants to stay in Washington to play, and feels like he could contribute for five years because he says “I’m the top of my game.”

Per a translation from Russian Machine Never Breaks:

So you do want to stay [in Washington]?

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.

Ovechkin also noted that a big focus of his was accomplishing certain career goals that he hasn’t achieved yet. One has to suspect that he’s eyeing Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. While there’s no doubt that Ovechkin is still one of the top players in the league, he’d have to average over 37 goals a season for the next five years to do so — especially since this year might be another season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth noting that Ovechkin has led the NHL in goals seven of the past eight seasons and led the NHL last season with 48 in just 68 games.

As for the other bit, Dynamo is the only other team that Ovechkin has played for in his professional career. He was there from 2001 to 2005, and then returned in 2012 because of the lockout. Regardless of his age or skillset, a hockey legend like Ovechkin would surely be welcomed back with open arms.

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