Alex Ovechkin is staying in the nation’s capital. In a press release on Tuesday, the Washington Capitals announced that the team has signed Ovechkin to a five-year, $47.5 million deal to remain with the franchise.
Ovechkin, 35, has spent his entire career with the Capitals after the franchise selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. The Russian forward has tallied 730 goals and 590 assists during his 16-year NHL career and is coming off a season in which he scored a team-high 24 goals.
He will be 40 by the time this new contract with the Caps is up.
“Alex is a world-class athlete who will forever be regarded not only for leading the team to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup, but also for inspiring the next generation of fans and youth players,” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. “The impact Alex has had on hockey in D.C. extends well beyond Capital One Arena. His performance on the ice has undoubtedly sparked countless new fans of the game and inspired more youth players to lace up skates of their own.”
On top of the chance to win another championship, in the next five seasons (assuming he stays healthy), Ovechkin has a shot to catch Wayne Gretzky as the league’s all-time leading goal scorer. Ovechkin currently has 730 career goals while Gretzky’s record stands at 894. The Capitals star is currently sixth on the list behind Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741) and Marcel Dionne (731).