The Washington Capitals silenced trade rumors about Alexander Ovechkin on Thursday by agreeing to a contract with their young star.
Both parties signed off on a deal worth $124 million over 13 years.
The contract will expire after the 2020-2021 season, when Ovechkin will be 35 years old.
With such a contract, the Capitals send a message to their fans: We won't move the franchise and we'll try to rebuild around Ovechkin.
If nothing else, Ovechkin's signing represents a strong commitment to the Washington fans—whom the Capitals are trying to lure back to games.
The $124 million is the most money ever awarded to an NHL player in a single contract. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has said he likes to take risks—and when the time came to sign a long-term deal, Ovechkin was worth it in Leonsis' mind.
Alexander Ovechkin, for his part, is glad to stay in Washington. He likes the city, the team, and the fans.
The length of the deal confirms a trend in the NHL: The average contract duration has been increasing since the end of the last work stoppage in 2004.
As for all you fans who'd dreamed that your favorite team would sign Ovechkin in the offseason...
Forget it. He's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Here is the list of the longest deals signed in the NHL in last few years:
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington,13 seasons,for $124 millions
Rick DiPietro, NY Islanders, 15 seasons, for $67.5 millions
Mike Richards, Philadelphia, 12 seasons, for $69 millions
Alexei Yashin, NY Islanders, 10 seasons, for $87.5 millions
Daniel Brière, Philadelphia, 8 seasons, for $52 millions
Scott Gomez, NY Rangers, 7 seasons, for $51.5 millions
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo, 7 seasons, for $50 millions
Jason Spezza, Ottawa, 7 seasons, for $49 millions
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit, 7 seasons, for $46.9 millions
Patrik Elias, New Jersey, 7 seasons, for $42 millions
Dany Heatley, Ottawa, 6 seasons, for $45 millions
Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary, 6 seasons, for $35 millions
David Legwand, Nashville, 6 seasons, $27 millions
Milan Michalek, San Jose, 6 seasons, $26 millions
Brendan Morrow, Dallas, 6 seasons, $24.6 millions
Nathan Horton, Florida, 6 seasons, $24 millions
Dustin Brown, Los Angeles, 6 seasons, $19.05 millions
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh, 5 seasons, $43.5 millions
(Picture: Alexander Ovechkin)