Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin said this week he hopes to end his professional hockey career where it began: at home, with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL.
“There are certain goals that I want to achieve after my career,” Ovechkin said in Russian during an interview with Russian Television International. “But my career is not over yet. I’m still in my prime. I think I will definitely play for a few more years, God grant that my health is good. I would finish in Russia at Dynamo Moscow.”
At 35, Ovechkin is certainly playing like he’s still in his prime, as one of the greatest goal-scorers the NHL has ever seen and showing no signs of slowing down. Washington’s captain is coming off a 48-goal, 67-point season that was cut short at just 68 games — this, after back-to-back seasons with point tallies just shy of 90 points each.
Asked for confirmation of his plans, Ovechkin reiterated:
“I really want to come back and end my career at Dynamo Moscow. After a certain number of years that I will spend, God willing, in Washington,” he said.
That last part is really important — Ovechkin made it clear he’s not looking to cut his time in Washington short. That point is particularly notable considering he’s approaching the final season of the 13-year, $124-million pact he signed with the Capitals back in 2008. Asked about the possibility of receiving a big-money offer from another club, Ovechkin made it clear he intends to stay put in Washington.
“It’s not a question of money. It’s a matter of principle: I played for only two teams – Dynamo and Washington,” he said.
Ovechkin, a native of Moscow, played with the KHL club before coming over to North America, and returned for a short stint during the 2012-13 NHL lockout. He has also been passionate about representing Russia internationally, suiting up with the national team during world championships and Olympic tournaments.
“It is clear, in two, three, four years, maybe five, I will end my career in Washington,” he said. “I want to end on a beautiful note – to play my last match for Dynamo Moscow.”