Alex Ovechkin and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Alex Ovechkin's contract has become an albatross for the Washington Capitals.
Ovechkin signed a 13-year, $124 million contract with the Washington Capitals in January 2008. At the time, Ovechkin was worth every penny. He was in the midst of a 65-goal campaign, which followed 52 goals in his rookie season of 2005-06 and 46 more in 2006-07.
Ovechkin justified the contract with his performance during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, reaching the 50-goal plateau each year. But Ovechkin has come nowhere close to that goal-scoring benchmark since then, totaling only 70 goals in 2010-11 and 2011-12 combined.
And this lack of production becomes even more glaring when analyzing the team's payroll as a whole. For the 2013 NHL season, the Washington Capitals' project cap payroll is $63,881,027, according to CapGeek.com. Ovechkin's cap hit of $9,538,462 represents nearly 15% of Washington's cap space. This significant concentration of funds on one player limits the team in trying to acquire new players or even to sign players already on the roster.
Plus, if the Capitals ever considered trading their megastar, they would have a hard time finding a team willing to absorb his burdensome contract.
The Capitals have created quite a quandary for themselves.