Arlington, Va. — Alex Ovechkin said Tuesday he is confident he will sign an extension and play again next season for the Washington Capitals franchise he led to the Stanley Cup in 2018.
The longtime captain’s $124 million, 13-year contract expires this summer. He said he has spoken with owner Ted Leonsis, who was also behind the last contract.
“We have time,” Ovechkin said. “I want to finish my career here.”
Asked when he might sign, Ovechkin joked, “Maybe we sign contract right now” after going through exit interviews. He and the Capitals were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in five games, losing in the first round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year since winning the team’s first championship.
The Russian winger is sixth on the NHL’s career goal list with 730, 164 behind of Wayne Gretzky’s record. Despite losing several games because of work stoppages and the pandemic, Ovechkin said there are still chances to chase that mark. The 16-year NHL veteran turns 36 in September.
Ovechkin said he still loves the game and wants to keep playing hockey as long as he can.
Teammates said they’d be surprised if Ovechkin isn’t back.
“When you think of the Washington Capitals, you think of Alex Ovechkin,” winger T.J. Oshie said.
Ovechkin said a leg injury caused him to miss seven of eight games late in the season and it will keep him from joining Russia for the world championships in Latvia. Ovechkin said it didn’t hamper him in the playoffs and won’t require surgery.