During his mid-season media availability, Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said that “I don’t really have an update” when asked about the status of contract negotiations with captain Alex Ovechkin, who is eligible to sign a contract extension any time and can become an unrestricted free agent on July 28.
Ovechkin has said that he would play for only two teams: the Capitals and the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo, where he has expressed a desire to play his final pro hockey game.
While talks between the two sides are quiet at the moment, MacLellan sounded confident that a deal will be agreed to between the two sides. “It’s the same as it’s been all year. We want him to finish his career here and I think he wants to finish his career here and at some point, we’ll get it done,” he said.
With the economic climate of the country and a flat salary cap for the next four seasons, MacLellan said that “We’ve just to find a sweet spot that we agree on.”
Ovechkin is in the final year of a 13-year contract that pays him $9.5 million per season.
As of right now, the Capitals have $17,391,667 available in salary cap space for the 2021-22 season but that could go up if the Seattle Kraken take a decent-sized contract off of the team’s book at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. Forward Jakub Vrana (RFA), goaltender Ilya Samsonov (RFA), forward Conor Sheary (UFA), defenseman Zdeno Chara (UFA), defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler (RFA), and defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk (UFA) are also in need of new contracts after this season.
By Harrison Brown