Capitals' Ovechkin noncommittal on playing in NHL past 2021

Yahoo Sports Canada
Alexander Ovechkin didn't commit to playing in the NHL past 2021. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Alexander Ovechkin didn't commit to playing in the NHL past 2021. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

One of the best to ever play in the National Hockey League may only have a couple of seasons left.

In a news conference hosted by Russian News Agency TASS on Thursday, Alexander Ovechkin was very ambiguous on whether or not he would seek out a new contract once his current deal expires in 2021.

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“I have two more years to play, under my contract,” the Washington Capitals star stated. “Let us wait and see whether I will continue my career as everything depends on the health.”

And to be fair, it wouldn’t be overly surprising or premature to see Ovi call it a career when his 13-year, $124 million agreement is up. He will be 35-years-old when he is due for a new deal and 36 when the 2021-2022 season begins.

“I would not want to have my limbs shattered as I would better spend my time running around with children,” the Russian hockey star added.

Considering he potted 51 goals last season, I would believe it’s safe to say that none of Ovechkin’s limbs are shattered. But naturally, if he starts to wear down as father time creeps up on him, being well for life after hockey may become an increasingly important priority for No.8.

Ovechkin retiring once his contract is done would also put to bed the question of whether or not he will top Wayne Gretzky’s seemingly impossible goal-scoring record. Gretzky, who leads the way with 894 goals, sits 236 tallies ahead of the Russian forward. While unlikely, the 33-year-old could eclipse the record by producing 5 more seasons of 48 goals. It probably won’t happen anyways, but I’m not going to put anything past Ovi.

The real shock factor of his comments derive from the fact that we may only have ‘Alexander the Great’ remaining in the NHL for a relatively short amount of time. The hockey superstar has been a fixture of the league ever since his rookie campaign in 2005. And sure, while the game will be much safer for netminders, it’s a little startling to think that the generation could be coming to a close for the generational talent.

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