Alexander Ovechkin: Washington Capitals Star Value for Money or Overpaid?

Max von KleistContributor IIIJanuary 5, 2012

Alexander Ovechkin poses with the Art Ross and Maurice Richard trophies he won after the 2007-2008 season.
Alexander Ovechkin poses with the Art Ross and Maurice Richard trophies he won after the 2007-2008 season.

When you think of Alexander Ovechkin, you probably tend to think of stick skills that mesmerize opponents, hits that can be heard from the upper bowl and goals that defy all odds. Sure, all of these things describe Ovechkin to a tee, but have they really done anything for the Washington Capitals?

In the grand scheme of things, the answer is no. He signed a 13-year $124-million contract in 2008-2009, and now it's time to start thinking about whether Ovechkin is worth the money.

Though he has led the Capitals to a division title for the past four seasons and, with his impressive offense and unmatched passion for the game has transformed the Capitals into an elite team, Ovechkin and the Caps can simply not get it done in the playoffs.

Touted as a Stanley Cup favorite for the past four years, Ovechkin and the Capitals have disappointed themselves and their fans, not making it past the second round. You can't blame Ovechkin for the Capitals' playoff woes as he has averaged well over a point per game throughout his playoff career, but being one of the world's best players, he is expected to do more and therefore takes the heat.

Putting playoffs aside, Ovechkin's offensive production has seen a significant decrease over the past year. He scored just 32 goals and 85 points last season. Normally a coach would be thrilled to have one of his players post 85 points, but when that player is Alexander Ovechkin, 85 points is simply not good enough.

Also not good enough is 33 points and -4 rating through his 38 games played this season. With his season off to a rocky start, it is not hard to understand why the Capitals are sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference.

As of late, however, Ovechkin has put his foot on the gas and is riding a seven-game point streak. His Capitals are also riding a four-game winning streak.

With all of this said, the question remains: O-vechkin or O-verpaid? You be the judge.