Alex Ovechkin sets aim at Wayne Gretzky’s goal record after new deal

ovechkin goal chase
May 19, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Ovechkin shouted on social media “I’m Back DC!” after signing a new five-year, $47.5 million contract extension.

The Caps captain represented himself in negotiations, and scored himself a solid deal. The 35-year-old Russian will carry a cap hit of $9.5 million next season. This contract extends him through the 2025-26 campaign.

“Alex is a world-class athlete who will forever be regarded not only for leading the team to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup, but also for inspiring the next generation of fans and youth players,” Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and CEO Ted Leonsis said.

Now that he has his new deal in place, it has him thinking about Wayne Gretzky’s goal scoring record of 894.

Alex Ovechkin aiming for Wayne Gretzky

ovechkin gretzky
Mar 13, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The statue of Wayne Gretzky watches over an empty Rogers Place as the NHL suspends games because of the COVID-19 outbreak at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Ovechkin collected 42 points (team-leading 24 goals, 18 assists) in 45 games in 2020-21 while competing in the final season of a 13-year, $124 million contract he signed in 2008. He resides one goal shy of tying Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne for fifth place all-time in NHL history.

“It’s gonna be tough but you never know,” Ovechkin said about chasing down Wayne Gretzky. I just want to do my best to be in history. I just want to put myself on the top of the list and we will see what’s going to happen.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind he has a great chance to do it,” Wayne Gretzky said back in April. It will take at least an average of 32.8 goals per season over the course of this 5-year contract to make it happen.

“That’s why I want to play five more years,” Ovechkin said. “To have a chance to catch the Great One, why not? If I’m going to be second, you know, it’s a pretty good number as well.”

Washington Post

Ovechkin is the Capitals franchise leader in games played (1,197), goals (730) and points (1,320) since being selected by Washington with the top overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. He was named the Conn Smythe Trophy recipient during the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup title in 2018.