Alex Ovechkin was always going to be eligible for a contract extension on July 13, but current circumstances have created an unprecedented situation.
The Capitals will begin Round Robin play Monday and if everything goes well, will play into late September. Until the playoffs conclude, the team won't be discussing an extension with their franchise player.
"We're waiting until after the playoffs to see how everything pans out here," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said, per NHL.com's Tracey Myers. "I think it's constantly been changing the whole year. I don't think anybody could have predicted. We're going to wait and assess where we're at at the end of the year and make decisions then."
This echoes Ovechkin's sentiments on the day he became eligible for a new deal, where he said was "not even thinking" about it.
It doesn't appear Ovechkin's future with the team is in jeopardy, as neither side has shown any intentions of not coming together on a deal. It just seems like a timing issue during a year where everything was thrown off completely by a global pandemic.
There's also an issue fo the salary cap. If Ovechkin wants a long-term deal for big money, the flat cap will make it difficult for the Caps to realistically make that happen. Of course, you make things work for a player of Ovechkin's caliber, but the challenges still remain.
For now though, Ovechkin and the Caps as a whole can focus on winning another Stanley Cup. They can talk money later.
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