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Leonsis: Caps, Ovechkin Are Talking Extension

A day after the Penguins locked up Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis acknowledged today that the club and all-star winger Alex Ovechkin have had exploratory talks on a contract extension. But nothing is imminent, he said.

Ovechkin, who is in the final year of his entry-level deal, does not have an agent and is dealing directly with General Manager George McPhee, Leonsis said.

"I'm sure that the Ovechkin family and the Washington Capitals will come to a place where both think is fair and right and Alex will be here for a long time," Leonsis said. "That's his goal and I'm sure it will work out. He'll save some money by not having an agent."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 11, 2007; 6:25 PM ET
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Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Any word on Semin aswell? Love to have the 2 ruskies locked up

Posted by: Doug | July 11, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Gonna buy the new colors soon, will OV wear the "A" this year?

Posted by: CWolff | July 11, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"He'll save some money by not having an agent."

Oh come on, Ted. Sports agents only get about 2% to 3% on contracts like this. So yes, he'll save some money, but it's not like he would have been out 10% or something.

Posted by: norske | July 11, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

norske, 2-3% of a $64 million deal (8 years at 8 million would be excellent--no, that's not my idea) would be a chunk of money. he could buy a few more m6's with it...

Posted by: pgreene | July 11, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I think part of the point an agent would want to make here is that he/she would be able to sign OV to a contract that's more than 2 - 3% larger than the one OV will sign with himself as rep, such that OV would make out with MORE money if he had a top quality agent who knew how to make deals and use leverage.

OV may not be saving ANY money at all, whether it be 10% or agent might have been able to sign him to a bigger deal, taken out his/her cut, and OV would have had a bigger take-home paycheck.

Obviously it's not for sure that this is how it would work out, but a good agent who's made hundreds of deals should be better at leveraging an organization for money than a kid in his 20s. End of story.

Posted by: B | July 11, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Is it really necessary for someone to come in here as say "1st"...what is this? Kindergarten? Does someone need a pat on the back for the wonderful "accomplishment" of being the first to post on a blog? Geez.

Anyway, great news about the extension. IMO, it will be in the vicinity of 6 years/50 million (total guess, but I think thats about fair)

Posted by: DuggerWV | July 11, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Ted better remember how Pollin's in sultingly low inital offer to Larry Hughes was cited as the reason he left. No cheap games here Ted, or sell the team locally if you care so much about the community but don't like paying what it takes to field a contender even with a salary cap.

Posted by: Snow Sage | July 12, 2007 2:37 AM | Report abuse

.. or sell the team locally if you care so much about the community but don't like paying what it takes to field a contender even with a salary cap.

You may not have noticed, but the salary cap went from $39 million just after the lockout to $50.3 million for this coming season. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, and Ducks find themselves floating with Tampa Bay in salary cap hell. The salary cap seems to be growing at an NFL pace, without the same revenue pool, television contracts, or fan interest.

Having an agent means Ovie will get more money now; besides, if he signs for $8 million a year, does that not mean Teddy has to sign somewhere around $32 million worth of players to surround him? I thought the new CBA has a clause that no one player can be more than a certain percentage of a team's total payroll. 20%, 25%?

But, not having an agent will let him think more about the long-term effects of signing a ginormous contract. Until this summer, he was already surrounded by sub-NHL talent; how many other players will be cut or ignored if he is going to suck down most or all of that highest-paid-player limit?

Posted by: P-Mac | July 12, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Im just glad they're taking care of this now and not later. I hope a deal with semin is reached soon afterward. I dont want to see any Vanek crisis here in DC.

Posted by: Captn Clark | July 12, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Agreed Snow Sage, The Pens have bellied up to the table for their superstar and face of the team, now it's time for Ted to do the same. You've signed some decent talent this offseason, now it's time to solidify the future with Ovie.

Posted by: Cup1975 | July 12, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

P-Mac, the 20% rule is in reference to the Upper Limit of the salary cap.

Posted by: tallbear | July 12, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I still can't get over the pessimism of some people. or sell the team locally if you care so much about the community but don't like paying what it takes to field a contender. I feel like I'm consistently forced to remind everyone that the Caps are in year 3 of a 5 year rebuilding plan. Rest assured, he will resign OV...Semin I'm not convinced, but certainly OV. GMGM and Ted have put money where their mouths are and signed FAs that drastically improve the team. Not to mention the Caps have just under a full year to sign OV to an extension before he becomes a RFA. Everyone just needs to take a deep breath, relax and be happy that the team has, on paper, a team that can contend for for atleast the playoffs.

Posted by: Yosh | July 13, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

This is nothing but good news.

To even try and find a cloud in the acknowledgment of working on an extension to Ovechkin's contract is like desperately looking for a worm in a ripe apple.

Posted by: Goat | July 14, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

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