When the new league year begins, the Washington Capitals and franchise icon Alex Ovechkin are expected to enter contract talks as soon as possible. Ovechkin is entering the final year of his contract, but can sign an extension as early as October 9. Talks should run smoothly for the superstar and the only team he’s ever played for; TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Ovechkin will once again negotiate the deal by himself. Ovechkin represented himself in contract talks last time around, all the way back in 2008, and landed a whopping 13-year, $124MM contract. Long-time friend and teammate Nicklas Backstrom was also successful negotiating an extension with the Capitals earlier this season. Ovechkin has no reservations about sitting down at the table by himself with GM Brian MacLellan and company to work out what could very well be the final contract of his storied career.
- Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin is still two years away from free agency, but sources tell The Athletic’s Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe that there is already mutual interest between player and team in an extension. Specifically, the two side are eyeing a three-year term, which would keep Malkin in Pittsburgh through the 2024-25 season, after which he would likely retire. Sidney Crosby’s current contract, a 12-year pact, is also set to expire that off-season. The dynamic duo will be 38 and 37 respectively at that time, so expect a changing of the guard in Pittsburgh to occur that off-season.
- In more current and pressing negotiations, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the NHLPA is creating a player committee to work with the NHL on the logistics of the 2020-21 season. The two sides are expected to meet after the end of the Stanley Cup Final in the hopes that there can be concrete progress prior to the NHL Draft and the opening of free agency. With the “when” and “how” of the coming season still very much up in the air there is plenty of work for both sides before a suitable plan can be rolled out to the public.