The deal comes as no surprise to anyone who has paying close enough attention to Ovechkin’s contract situation. The biggest surprise here is the deal being for five years, not four. The annual cap hit on the deal comes out to $9.5M AAV. I do not mind this deal one bit. Ovechkin means so much to this franchise and he was due for this extension and payday. Let’s go baby!!! The contract also signals to me that Ovechkin has his sights set on Gretzky's goal record. Ovechkin sits just 164 goals behind Gretzky. He only needs to average 32.8 goals over the next five seasons to break the record. Ovechkin has averaged a 50.5 goals/game pace the last four seasons. Bet the freaking house on Ovechkin breaking that record. I guarantee its going down. Backstrom will also re-sign on a 1-year deal in 2025-2026. Check out my poll at the bottom!
2. Caps Trade Brenden Dillon to Winnipeg Jets – Prior to the Ovechkin contract being announced, the Capitals traded away defenseman Brenden Dillon to the Jets for second round draft picks in 2022 and 2023. That is a pretty nice return for Dillon. The Caps needed to make a move to clear cap for the Ovechkin deal. Since Vitek Vanecek was selected in the expansion draft, the Caps were forced to turn towards their relatively deep defensive core to clear some space for Ovi. While the trade does leave the left side of the defense mildly thin, its still competitive. The potential lines for defense could look as follows:
The Caps are really banking on Kempny to return to form from when the Caps won the Stanley Cup in 2018. That’s a stretch but its possible. In addition, Martin Fehervary has showed he is more than ready to play full-time in the NHL. Only time will tell to see how this defense shakes out.
3. Capitals Focus on Defense in 2021 NHL Draft – The Capitals did not have a selection in the first round this year. That pick belonged to the Detroit Red Wings as part of the Vrana-Mantha deal…WOOF. The Capitals had six picks in the draft starting in the second round. They picked three straight defenders with their first three picks in defenders with four out of their first five picks. Here are the selections:
Round 2 Pick 55 – Vincent Iorio, D
Round 3 Pick 80 – Brent Johnson, D
Round 4 Pick 119 – Joaquim Lemay, D
Round 5 Pick 151 – Haakon Hanelt, C
Round 6 Pick 176 – Dru Krebs, D
Round 6 Pick 183 – Chase Clark, G