The Washington Capitals signed Alex Ovechkin seemingly for the remainder of his NHL career. On Tuesday, they inked the Russian to a five-year, $47.5 million extension that carries an AAV of $9.5 million.
Looking at the contract from all angles, it’s a slam dunk.
Ovechkin not only transformed the hockey scene in D.C. but helped establish a winning culture. His leadership over time, especially since wearing the “C” starting in 2010, has helped Washington achieve new heights.
“Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organization and this city,” MacLellan said. “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.”
“When you think of the Washington Capitals, you think of Alex Ovechkin,” teammate T.J. Oshie added back in May.
But beyond nostalgia, it’s his consistency and durability that make this deal worth it.
Ovechkin leads the Capitals franchise in games played (1,197), goals (730) and points (1,320). He currently sits sixth on the NHL’s all-time goals list, one behind Marcel Dionne for firth. He’s 165 tallies away from breaking Wayne Gretzky‘s record of 894. Looking at adjusted goals, which take into account scoring environments, roster size and schedule adjustments, Ovechkin would have 835 goals, third behind Gordie Howe (925) and Jaromir Jagr (841).
READ MORE ON WHN: Breaking Down Alex Ovechkin’s Five-Year Deal With Washington
Since entering the league in 2005, Ovechkin’s never scored under 20 goals in a season. His lowest number came this season, where he had 24 goals in 45 games while easily breaking record after record. In a normal, 82-game campaign, that would’ve put him on pace for about 44 goals. He’s a nine-time Rocket Richard winner, and before COVID-19 paused the 2019-20 season, he was one goal away from another 50-goal campaign — at 34 years old.
In order to pass Gretzky, he needs to average at least 33 goals a season through the rest of his contract. Ovechkin will be 40 years old when his contract ends, but for him, age has always been just a number. He still plays with great physicality and offensive acumen, and his shot remains one of the best in the league.
Even if he doesn’t break No. 99’s record, Ovechkin, thanks to his unique style and unparalleled production in the modern era, should go down as the greatest goal scorer of all time.
“It’s just so impressive,” Nicklas Backstrom said of Ovechkin’s numbers. “I think the way he shoots the puck, the way he scores, the way he plays the game is just fun to see. As a teammate, you’re just enjoying every moment.”
The Capitals have five more years of The Great 8, five more years of working toward breaking a record once thought to be unbreakable and five more years of a player who defined a generation of hockey.