Alex Ovechkin 'Confident' of New Capitals Contract, Wants to Retire with Team

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2021

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) skates with the puck during the second period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Alexander Ovechkin remains confident he will finish his career with the Washington Capitals despite facing unrestricted free agency this offseason.

"I'm confident; we still have time," Ovechkin told reporters Tuesday. "Obviously, I want to finish my career here. I'm pretty sure we will do something soon."

The future Hall of Famer is finishing a 13-year, $124 million contract that remains the richest deal in hockey history. 

While not quite in his prime, Ovechkin remains one of hockey's most impactful offensive forces. He put up 42 points (24 goals, 18 assists) in 45 games played this season, missing seven games because of injury and an additional four for violating NHL COVID-19 protocols.

Emily Kaplan of ESPN reported the Capitals remain unsure whether to offer Ovechkin a long-term or short-term contract. Kaplan's report indicated the team is considering offers ranging anywhere from one to four years.

Salary is another potential snag. Ovechkin will likely want a raise on the $9.5 million AAV of his previous contract, though it's not especially clear that paying eight figures for a player entering the twilight of his career is a prudent move under the cap.

The NHL, like all professional sports leagues, was hit heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides are motivated to get a deal done, but it may be more complicated than the rubber-stamping of a record-setting contact the two sides pulled off last time they negotiated.