Predicting Ovechkin's Next Contract
It has been awhile! 23 days to be exact. I just moved back to Maryland from Colorado, started a new job, and am planning a wedding. My life has been chaotic to say the least. Man, does it feel good to be back in Caps country though! I hope everyone is well and is enjoying what I feel has been an incredible Stanley Cup playoff so far.
Today we are going to look at Alex Ovechkin and his next contract.
Alex Ovechkin has been eligible to sign a contract extension for over a year but it has yet to happen. Following the Capitals first round exit to the Bruins, Ovechkin commented on his future with the Capitals saying “I want to finish my career here. I’m pretty sure we will do something soon.” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan also has been very public about wanting to bring Ovechkin so he can finish his career with the Capitals. All signs are pointing towards an obvious re-signing of Ovechkin. The question at this point is…how much will the Capitals be willing to fork over to the greatest goal scorer of all time?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. I want to to look at three key variable that will likely play into both the term and price the Capitals sign Ovechkin for:
1. Retiring alongside Nick Backstrom – Backstrom has four years left on his deal and if the Capitals were smart, they would throw a four-year deal at Ovechkin as well so the dudes can retire together. I won’t go into detail about the bond between Ovechkin and Backstrom but man have these two dudes been through thick and thin together. Watching them celebrate and raise the Stanley Cup brought tears to my eyes. Anything other than a 4-year deal for the Capitals would be a catastrophic failure by the Capitals front office.
2. Chasing Gretzky’s Goal Record – Ovi sits at 730 career goals and is 164 goals shy of Gretzkys record. All Ovechkin needs to do is average 41 goals for the next four years and he will break gretzky’s record. I am bias when I say this, but I am 100% confident Ovechkin will break the record. Even in a shortened and injury prone season, Ovechkin still was on a 44 -pace for a 82-game regular season. I think it well within reason to say Ovi gets 45 goals the next two seasons. Let’s also take into consideration Ovechkin WILL get within 100. A competitive guy like Ovechkin isn’t just going to stop once he gets that close…no way. The Capitals are well of all this and the term length for the new deal will surely be 4-years in my opinion. In a perfect world, Ovechkin breaks the record at the end of 2024-2025 and both he and Backstrom ride off into the sunset to retirement as gods. More Stanley Cups would be great but if you are a Capitals fan…would you rather see the team win another Stanley Cup or see Ovechkin break Gretzkys record? I am genuinely interested to hear you opinion so feel free to drop a comment. You have to pick one. Call me crazy but I think id rather see him break the Gretzky if I am being honest. If they can do both, AMAZING!
3. Previous Contract and Production - Ovechkin just finished a monster deal of 13 years’ worth $124 million. The AAV for that deal is $9.538M per year. While that is a massive deal, I believe Ovechkin actually outperformed that and the Capitals ended up with a bargain there. Here are all of Ovechkin’s goals/game stats over the course of a season
2020-2021: .533 goals per game (On pace for 44 goals)
2019-2020: .708 goals per game (On pace for 58 goals)
2018-2019: .630 goals per game (On pace for 52 goals)
2017-2018: .598 goals per game (On pace for 49 goals)
2016-2017: .402 goals per game (On pace for 33 goals)
2015-2016: .633 goals per game (On pace for 52 goals)
2014-2015: .654 goals per game (On pace for 54 goals)
2013-2014: .654 goals per game (On pace for 54 goals)
It was not until last season where Ovechkin actually missed a game due to a real injury. Ovi is typically an ironman on the ice but we will see next year if the injury bug continues now that he is one year older. The Capitals front office and Ovechkin are very loyal to one another and I would not be surprised if Brian MacLellan throws some serious cash at Ovechkin cause he deserves a nice payday.
There are a few other variables in play but I think these listed above are really the main three things to consider when trying to guess his next contract. I think when you factor in the Backstrom deal, the Gretzky record, and recent production trend, Ovechkin will get a great deal. Anything over $10M will surely limit the deals ability to beef up the roster for another Stanley cup run. Look for the Capitals to trade Kuzy in the offseason to clear some space.
Official Contract Prediction: 4-year deal - $42 million ($10.5 AAV)
Thanks for reading and LETS GO CAPS BABY!