Hockey insider Pierre LeBrun confirmed during the most recent edition of Insider Trading on TSN that Alex Ovechkin is currently in talks with the Washington Capitals about an extension, and is doing so all by himself. He is negotiating the deal without representation.
A year away from unrestricted free agency, LeBrun said that Ovechkin doesn’t feel he needs an agent.
“Well, I guess he’s got to do what his buddy Nick Backstrom did. Backstrom, as you may recall, signed his own contract, negotiated and signed his own extension back in January with the Capitals. Well, I’m told that Alex Ovechkin is representing himself. There’s no lawyer that he brought in. There’s no one else in the room. It’s just him – talking to the Caps front office right now. We’ll see if he gets a deal done this off-season. But there have been preliminary discussions about the future, about what a future contract would look like for him. And it’s him handling it by himself.”
“I sat down with the GM and negotiated myself. I was interested in doing so while feeling comfortable and feeling great with the club. Besides, I’ve been there for a long time so it felt like a pretty obvious decision.”
When asked if negotiating his own contract was a difficult process, Backstrom replied “No, I do not think so. There have been some discussions here and there but I think it went well.”
Backstrom drove such a hard bargain that MacLellan joked that he is afraid that captain Alex Ovechkin, who has been eligible to sign a contract extension since July 1, will ask Backstrom to negotiate his contract for him. MacLellan was very complimentary of Backstrom’s negotiating skills and professionalism but acknowledge that Backstrom was “probably a little stubborn at times.”
MacLellan said that the two explored shorter and longer contract lengths but met at five years because it worked for each party.
By negotiating their own deals, players save agent and representation fees which can range anywhere from 2-10% of the total contract.
Ovechkin is completing a 13-year, $124 million and the speculation is he might be looking at a three or four-year deal, for $10-12 million AAV. Ovechkin’s mother Tatyana, helped negotiate his previous deal.
By Jon Sorensen