If you’ve ever wondered how and when Alex Ovechkin would sever his ties with the Capitals and the NHL, look no further than one of the players he admires most.
On Friday, Detroit Red Wings legend Pavel Datsyuk completed his transition from the NHL to the KHL by signing a two-year, 500-ruble contract to play for SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League. Datsyuk’s contract is worth roughly $7.8 million in American currency.
Datsyuk, who will turn 38 on July 20, walked away from the final year of his contract with the Red Wings. In 14 seasons in Detroit, Datsyuk recorded 915 points (314 goals, 604 assists) in 953 games, helping the Wings to Stanley Cups in 2002 and 2008.
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Ovechkin, who will turn 31 in September, has five years remaining on the 13-year, $124 million contract he signed with the Caps back in 2008. He has a no-movement clause and will earn $10 million in each of those five seasons.
If he remains with the Capitals through the end of that contract, Ovechkin will be 35 years old and will have played 16 seasons in Washington. Maybe he would have gotten his name engraved on the Stanley Cup a time or two as well.
Ovechkin has said on a few occasions that he would someday like to return to play in Russia and it would be more about his love of country than his love of money. Ovechkin has represented Russia in three Olympics and 10 World Championships and played 31 games for Dynamo Moscow during the NHL’s 2012-13 lockout.
In his 11 seasons with the Capitals, Ovechkin has done everything but lead the Caps to a championship. In 839 games with the Caps he has 525 goals and 441 assists for 966 points. He has another 41 goals and 41 assists for 82 points in 84 playoff games.
So for those wondering, the Capitals’ window to win a Stanley Cup with Ovechkin is now at five years and counting … backward.
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