Alex Ovechkin said he has no intention of playing for any NHL team other than the Washington Capitals.
“It’s not a question of money,” he told Russian Television International this week. “It’s a matter of principle: I played for only two teams, Dynamo [Moscow] and Washington.”
Ovechkin is entering the final season of a 13-year, $124 million contract he signed with Washington on Jan. 10, 2008, but he told RTI that he plans to remain with the Capitals for the rest of his NHL career. The 35-year-old forward continues to be one of the most dominant goal-scorers in NHL history. He scored 48 goals last season, sharing the Maurice Richard Trophy as the top goal-scorer in the League with David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins. Ovechkin scored his 700th NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 22, becoming the eighth player in NHL history to reach that mark.
Retiring anytime soon is not on his agenda.
“There are certain goals that I want to achieve after my career,” he said. “But my career is not over yet. I’m still in my prime. I think I will definitely play for a few more years.”
Ovechkin has played all of his 15 NHL seasons and 1,152 games with the Capitals, who selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. He is eighth on the NHL all-time list with 706 goals, 188 behind Wayne Gretzky, who holds the record with 894. Ovechkin has scored at least 50 goals in a season eight times, one behind the NHL record held by Gretzky and Mike Bossy. He’s won the Richard Trophy a League-record nine times and was voted winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2018, when his 15 goals helped the Capitals win their first championship since entering the NHL in 1974. Ovechkin also has been voted winner of the Hart Trophy as MVP of the NHL (2008, 2009, 2013) and the Ted Lindsay Award (2008-10) as the League’s outstanding player as chosen by members of the NHL Players’ Association three times each.
Though Ovechkin said he would like to finish his hockey career with Dynamo, where he played before joining the Capitals and prior to the shortened 2012-13 NHL season, he said he was in no hurry to conclude his time with Washington.
“It is clear, in two, three, four years, maybe five, I will end my career in Washington,” he said. “I want to end on a beautiful note, to play my last match for Dynamo Moscow.”