Capitals star Alex Ovechkin appears likely remain in Washington for his entire career, now that the 35-year-old Russian has signed a five-year contract worth $47.5 million with the hometown hockey team.
“Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organization and this city,” Brian MacLellan, the Capitals senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement Tuesday, when the deal was announced. “We’re thrilled that he will continue his career in the Caps uniform for the next five years.”
After the Capitals made him the first pick of the NHL’s 2004 draft, Ovechkin has emerged as one of the league’s marquee players. He currently has the sixth most career goals in NHL history, with 730. Should he manage to remain healthy for the remaining years of his new contract, he would join two other sports legends—the Washington Football Team’s Darrell Green and the Senator’s Walter Johnson—in the elite club of local sports stars who’ve played 20 or more seasons with their teams.
Off the ice, Ovechkin has attracted attention on account of his politics. He is reportedly cosy with Russian President Vladimir Putin; according to The Washington Post, Ovechkin has Putin’s personal phone number, and when he got married in 2017, Putin sent him a gift. Later that year, Ovechkin spearheaded the “Putin Team”—which he described as a social movement designed to support the Russian leader.