Wednesday, November 11, 2020

What’s the Future Hold For Ovechkin?

By Marc James

Over the past two decades, Alexander Ovechkin has been one of the NHL's greatest goal scorers. Throughout his professional career, the 35-year-old has played for just two teams, Dynamo Moscow and the Washington Capitals. Interestingly, however, as he reaches the latter stages of his playing days, Ovechkin has this year entered the final year of his contract. Back in the 2007-08 season, the Russian signed a 13-year deal, which is now soon set to expire. So, let's take a look at what the rest of his professional career might have in store.

Will He End his Career with the Washington Capitals?

Perhaps one of the most intriguing questions that currently surrounds the National Hockey League revolves around Ovechkin's future. Having played for two sides during his career, it appears unlikely that he would now opt for something new. As per a report by the official NHL website from August 2020, Ovechkin stated that he wasn't prepared to discuss an extension until the Capitals' training camp. Given that the Russian has been eligible to put pen to paper on a new deal since July 13th, the delay in coming to an agreement has raised several questions.

By his own admission, there's only one team that Ovechkin would like to end his career with besides from the Capitals. Unsurprisingly, that's Dynamo Moscow. Back in the 2001-02 season, the 35-year-old made his professional debut with the 73-year-old Russian-based outfit. According to a report at NBC Sports which cites SportsNet, Ovechkin is quoted as saying that he wants to end his career in Moscow. Given his current contract situation, that is, of course, a possibility. However, the 35-year-old also hinted that he'd like to extend his current deal prior to returning to Dynamo Moscow.

Would a New Challenge Enhance His Legacy?

It's understandable as to why Ovechkin may want to stay with Brian MacLellan's team. To date, the 35-year-old only has one Stanley Cup trophy to his name, which came back in 2018, as the Capitals were victorious over the Vegas Golden Knights. For someone of his pedigree, adding another championship title to his collection would undoubtedly aid his legacy. As of November 10th, the Capitals are priced at +1700 in the NHL betting odds to win the Stanley Cup in 2021.

Furthermore, the prospect of making history is another factor which indicates that Ovechkin doesn't need to try something new, particularly at this stage of his career. At the time of writing, and according to data from ESPN, he currently sits seventh in the league's all-time goals leaderboard with 706. In turn, some believe that the 35-year-old can become the division's leading goal scoring, surpassing Wayne Gretzky's existing record of 894. Crucially, staying with the Capitals would unquestionably give him the best chance of doing so, with consistency often being the key to success in sport.

Only Time Will Tell

While nothing is a guarantee in sport, it seems clear that Ovechkin won't look to broaden his horizons with a move to a new club. At this stage of his career, nobody can blame him for that. As one of the NHL's best-ever scorers, he's already cemented his status as an all-time great. Now he has his sights set on breaking records.

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