Ovechkin signs five-year, $47.5 million contract with Capitals

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Alex Ovechkin signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract to remain with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. It has an average annual value of $9.5 million.

The 35-year-old forward, who could have become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, negotiated the contract directly with the Capitals without an agent, like he did in in 2008, when he signed a 13-year, $124 million contract.

“Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organization and this city,” Captital general manager Brian 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.”

Ovechkin led the Capitals with 24 goals in 45 games this season despite missing an NHL career-high 11 games because of NHL COVID-19 protocol (four) and a leg injury (seven). He scored four points (two goals, two assists) in the Stanley Cup First Round, when Washington was eliminated from the best-of-7 series by the Boston Bruins in five games.

Tweet from @ovi8: I���M BACK DC !!!!! #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/7XQPfT6aZP

Although the past two seasons have been shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ovechkin believes breaking Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record of 894 goals remains possible. He is sixth in NHL history with 730 goals, one behind Marcel Dionne and 11 behind Brett Hull in fourth.

Ovechkin also has scored 269 power-play goals, five behind Dave Andreychuk’s NHL record of 274.

“You still have chances, man,” Ovechkin said May 25. “You just have to go out there and do your thing and maybe it happens, maybe not. But how I said, one step at a time.”

Ovechkin, who was named Washington’s captain Jan. 5, 2010, has led the NHL in goals a record nine times, and his eight seasons with at least 50 goals is one shy of the record shared by Gretzky and Mike Bossy. Last season he was on pace to score 57 goals, having scored 48 in 68 games, before play was suspended March 12, 2020 because of the pandemic.

Selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Ovechkin is the Capitals leader in goals, points (1,320), games played (1,197), power-play goals and power-play points (499). He is also their leader in games played (141), goals (71), points (135), power-play goals (27) and power-play points (58) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He helped them win their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy voted as the most valuable player of the playoffs after scoring 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists) in 24 games.

“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,” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said. “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.”

A three-time Hart Trophy winner voted as the most valuable player in the NHL (2008, 2009, 2013), Ovechkin also won the Calder Trophy voted as the NHL rookie of the year in 2006; the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association, three straight seasons from 2008-10; and has been named to the NHL First All-Star Team eight times (2006-10, 2013, 2015, 2019).

During the NHL’s Centennial season in 2017, Ovechkin was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.

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