Photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
Left wing Alex Ovechkin announced on Tuesday that he has re-signed with the Washington Capitals on a five-year contract that will carry a $9.5 million cap hit. The 35-year-old could have become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) July 27, 2021
“Alex is a world-class athlete who will forever be regarded not only for leading the team to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup, but also for inspiring the next generation of fans and youth players,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis in a statement. “The impact Alex has had on hockey in D.C. extends well beyond Capital One Arena. His performance on the ice has undoubtedly sparked countless new fans of the game and inspired more youth players to lace up skates of their own. Off the ice, Alex’s impact is equally unmatched. Not only is he committed to the franchise, but also to the community, and we look forward to seeing him in the Capitals uniform for years to come.”
Ovechkin, who played the final season of a 13-year contract that carried a cap hit of about $9.54 million in 2020-21, led the Capitals with 24 goals in 45 games this season, when he also posted 42 points.
The nine-time Maurice Rocket Richard (co-)winner has scored at least 50 goals eight times in his career, including two straight from 2018-19. Ovechkin was at 48 in 68 games in the 2019-20 season before the NHL paused it in March due to COVID-19.
In 1,197 career NHL games, Ovechkin has posted 730 goals (which are one behind Marcel Dionne for fifth on the all-time leaderboard), 1,320 points, and a +75 rating. He ranks first in Capitals history in points and second in assists (590) behind just center Nicklas Backstrom (722).
Ovechkin, who was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017, won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading point scorer in 2007-08, Ted Lindsay Award as MVP voted by the players in three consecutive seasons (2008-10), Hart Trophy as MVP three times (2008-09, 2013), and the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the season in 2005-06.
“Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organization and this city,” said GM Brian MacLellan. “Alex embodies what our franchise is all about, and we’re thrilled that he will continue his career in the Caps uniform for the next five years.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 27, 2021
In 141 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Ovechkin has recorded 71 goals and 135 points. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the tournament in 2018 when he led the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 15 goals and finished second with 27 points behind center Evgeny Kuznetsov (32). The Capitals won their first Stanley Cup Championship that season.
Ovechkin, the first overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, will enter the 2021-22 season 165 goals away from becoming the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring leader.
Ovechkin became eligible to sign a new contract extension on October 9, 2020, but waited to sign so that the Capitals could protect right-wing Daniel Sprong in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
He has expressed interest in finishing his career in Washington, as has Capitals GM Brian MacLellan, and playing his final pro hockey game with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow, his hometown club.
Ovechkin has played in the NHL All-Star Game seven times in his career and has been named to the First All-Star Team eight times and the second four. He has represented Russia at the Winter Olympic Games in 2006, 2010, and 2014.
Ovechkin’s cap hit remains the highest on the Capitals, who have $3,418,695 remaining in cap space.
The final year of the contract will mark Ovechkin’s 21st with the Capitals. In Washington, D.C., sports history, only Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson and Washington Football Team cornerback Darrell Green have played at least 20 seasons with their respective team.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) July 27, 2021
By Harrison Brown