Washington Capitals rightfully secure the future of Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals made their biggest and most important move of the offseason on Tuesday afternoon, securing the future of their captain Alex Ovechkin. The team signed him to a $47.5 million contract over the course of five years where he’ll make $9.5 million per season.

Last season, Ovechkin passed Mike Gartner (708 goals) and Phil Esposito (717 goals) on the NHL’s all time goals list. He is two goals shy of passing Marcel Dionne (731 goals) for fifth place and needs 165 goals to pass Wayne Gretzky (894 goals) for the most in NHL history.

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Ovechkin looks to become the third player in NHL history to reach 800 career goals, along with Gretzky and Gordie Howe (801 goals). If he maintains his career 0.61 goals per game rate, which is the highest rate in NHL history among players with at least 700 goals, Ovechkin would score his 800th goal in his 1,312th game. Gretzky reached the mark in his 1,116th career game on March 20, 1994 while Howe reached the mark in his 1,748th game (Feb. 29, 1980).

With Ovechkin signed with the Caps for the next five seasons, he needs to average just 33 goals per season to catch Gretzky. That is very doable and the way the Caps structured the contract is not only to lock up Ovechkin for that epic chase but to allow them to sign other players to remain competitive as they eye their second Stanley Cup along the way.

Ovechkin’s 24 goals in 45 game last season equals a 43 goal pace over an 82 game season. His 24 goals was a career low but it was mostly because of injury towards the end of the season and time on the NHL’s COVID protocols list at the beginning.

Ovechkin became the fourth player in NHL history to record 16 consecutive 20 goal seasons since the start of his career, joining Dionne, Jaromir Jagr, and Mats Sundin, each with 17. The 2021 season marked the first season in which Ovechkin didn’t reach the 30 goal mark, leaving him tied with Gartner and Jagr for the most consecutive seasons in NHL history with at least 30 goals with 15. Ovechkin only trails Gartner (17) for the most 30 goal seasons in NHL history.

Ovechkin recorded 48 goals during the previous pandemic shortened season which left him tied for the NHL lead with David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins. It gave him his NHL record ninth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.

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Ovechkin will address the media at 2 p.m. today. You can catch the press conference on the Caps official Facebook and Twitter pages.