Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in March he hopes superstar and captain Alex Ovechkin will remain with the organization through the conclusion of his Hall of Fame career and not become an unrestricted free agent after this season ends.
Per Tom Gulitti of the NHL’s website, the 35-year-old one-time Stanley Cup champion didn’t sound too concerned about his future when speaking with reporters about the subject ahead of Saturday’s playoff series opener against the Boston Bruins.
“I’m not worried about it,” Ovechkin said. “Why do I have to worry about it?”
The two sides have paused contract talks until Washington’s playoff run ends, either in defeat or with another title.
Ovechkin is negotiating with owner Ted Leonsis without the use of an agent as he did when he signed a 13-year, $124 million contract extension in January 2008. Leonsis seems convinced the greatest player in franchise history isn’t going anywhere.
“Alex has been around a long, long time and has a lot of trust and confidence in us and knows the most important thing right now is to focus on the playoffs, and that’s where we are,” Leonsis explained. “And I’m not concerned. He’s not concerned. Our concern is the Boston Bruins.”
Ovechkin recently missed seven games and the majority of an eighth with a lower-body injury but returned for Tuesday’s regular-season finale versus Boston.