FILE - Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin is shown before an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Washington, in this Tuesday, May 11, 2021, file photo. Ovechkin re-signed with the Washington Capitals on the eve of free agency, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, inking a four-year deal worth $40 million.(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Capitals re-sign Alex Ovechkin to $47.5M, 5-year contract

Capitals re-sign Alex Ovechkin to $47.5M, 5-year contract

Alex Ovechkin re-signed with the Washington Capitals on the eve of free agency, inking a five-year deal worth $47.5 million.

There was virtually no chance of Ovechkin signing elsewhere, but the deal done Tuesday keeps him under contract through the 2025-26 season at a salary-cap hit of $9.5 million.

Washington’s longtime captain, who earned playoff MVP honors in leading the franchise to its first Stanley Cup title in 2018, turns 36 in September. Ovechkin ranks fifth on the career goals list with 730, 164 back of Wayne Gretzky for the NHL record.

Ovechkin would need to average more than 32 goals a season to catch Gretzky during this contract, which expires when he’s on the verge of his 41st birthday.

“Alex is the face of our franchise and is committed to this organization and this city,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “Alex embodies what our franchise is all about, and we’re thrilled that he will continue his career in the Caps uniform for the next five years.”

The Capitals held off signing Ovechkin to a new deal until after the Seattle expansion draft so they could protect another player. Ovechkin was left unprotected, but the Kraken knew better than to select him and took goaltender Vitek Vanecek instead.

Ovechkin is Washington’s franchise leader with 1,197 games played and 1,320 points, in addition to being the best goal-scorer of his generation.

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

NHL