Many athletes decide to end their long career on a high, once they have finally won a long awaited championship. The question that is now on everyone's mind, especially on the ones of Washington Capitals fans, is will it be the case for captain Alex Ovechkin?
To say that Ovechkin was ecstatic to win his first Stanley Cup is an understatement. The Russian superstar couldn't contain himself when he hoisted the trophy in Vegas after beating the Golden Knights in five games, and it hasn't changed since the start of the summer. We have seen a completely wasted Ovechkin partied it up at a Nationals' game, during the team's Cup parade and extravagant party, but now, the champion himself had some shocking comments that surely sober up the Capitals fan base.
Ovechkin did a summer interview with NHL.com’s Russian reporter Pavel Lysenkov and alluded to a time in which he may leave the NHL. When talking about his career, he said “One needs to finish his career where it started. I think so. Therefore, in 2021, when the contract with Washington ends, I will consider all options.”
Fans have quickly reacted to his comments, devastated by the fact that one of the world's best hockey players could be on his way out of the league in just three years. However, a lot of things in his statement makes sense, especially the timeline of his projected future.
The timing of this makes sense for Ovechkin seeing that the NHL doesn’t plan to return to the Olympics in 2022. When Ovi mentioned finishing his career where it started, he is talking about playing with Moscow Dynamo (or just in the Kontinental Hockey League in general) where he played his first four years of professional hockey. We know that the KHL has allowed its players to attend the Olympics in 2018, and with the Athletes of Russia winning the gold medal this past February, you have to understand that Ovechkin would love to add a gold medal to his resume.
This may be the only way to go about it.
If Ovechkin indeeds leaves the NHL in three years, at the end of his current contract, he will be 35 and still have good years left in him to return to Russia and make a huge difference in a team's roster and a potential quest for another gold medal in Russia.
How do you feel about his statement?
Photo Credit: Zuma Press