Alex Ovechkin re-signs with Capitals for 5 years

Alex Ovechkin

Though it took longer than many expected, Alex Ovechkin signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract on Tuesday to remain with the Capitals and avoid free agency. The new contract will run through the 2025-26 season when Ovechkin will be 40.

Ovechkin broke the news himself on Twitter.

With a cap hit of $9.5 million, that's actually slightly lower than the cap hit from Ovechkin's previous contract of $9,538,462.

Ovechkin continues to remain one of the top-scoring threats in the NHL despite his age. At 35, he scored 24 goals in 45 games in 2021. Having said that, with a cap hit of $9.5 million, there's no question this contract serves in part as an acknowledgment of what Ovechkin has meant to the franchise in his 16 NHL seasons.

At five years, this contract could very well serve as the final one of Ovechkin's storied NHL career and ensure he remains in Washington throughout. It also sets him up for a push at Wayne Gretzky's all-time goals-scored record.

Gretzky stands atop the record books with 894 career goals. Ovechkin currently sits sixth all-time with 730 -- 164 goals shy of Gretzky. The next goal he scores will tie him with Marcel Dionne for fifth.

With the biggest item on the offseason's to-do list now crossed off, Washington has a little over $3.34 million of free cap space with which to work to retool the team for another possible Stanley Cup run. It needs to re-sign goalie Ilya Samsonov, who is a restricted free agent, and add a second goalie. NHL free agency begins on Wednesday.