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Ovechkin Extension (Non) Update

After practice, I caught up with Alex Ovechkin to ask him about a number of things. One of them was the status of his negotiations with the Caps on an extension. His entry-level deal expires in July, at which time he will become a restricted free agent.

Nothing has changed, he said, since the last time I asked him about this on Oct. 29 in Toronto, adding that serious talks still have not started and that he's not sure when they might.

I asked him if that lack of an offer is bothering him. At first he said, "No." Then he paused for a moment before saying, "Of course I think about my contract. It would be stupid to answer that I don't think about my contract. Of course I think about it. But we don't start talking. We just wait. We still have time."

It doesn't seem to be affecting his production on the ice. So far, that is.

I'm going to ask George McPhee about this later, although I probably won't get very far. He doesn't talk publicly about contracts as a matter of team policy.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 14, 2007; 12:06 PM ET
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Next: Update on Eric Fehr


Wonderful. Tarik, get GMGM to confirm or deny the published reports that OV wants 10M and they want to give him the Crosby deal. Good luck with that!

Posted by: Schultz for Calder | November 14, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Ask GMGM if his coach's job is safe.

Posted by: 20008 | November 14, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse


I know you're going to get a lot of responses about how we need to ink Ovechkin ASAP, blah blah blah--we've all read the same rumours, the same people complaining we need to have signed Ovie ysterday, etc. What is your honest opinion on the situation? Will Alex have a deal before July, before another team makes an offer or will Teddy Bear be forced to match an offer just to keep our main marketing force?

Posted by: SLM | November 14, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD | November 14, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes,, those rumors started by Bruce Garrioch of OV wanting 10 million per. Even OV says negotiations haven't started.

I wish people would understand that Garrioch is nothing more than the Larry Brooks of Canada. Of course I don't know if Garrioch would take up the defending of Sean Avery that Larry Brooks did today in the NY Post.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 14, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's the conversation:

Tarik: "George, what's with with Ovechkin's contract?

GMGM: "We don't discuss player's contracts."

Posted by: Finn | November 14, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Please, Tarik, could you possibly find a way to get more information on Eric Fehr's injury status?

Will he ever play hockey ever again, let alone this season?

Is his career over? How bad is his injury? Has he skated since the injury? Has he been practicing with the team?

Anything, please!!!

Posted by: ERIC FEHR??? | November 14, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Is Semin skating today?

Posted by: b.orr4 | November 14, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

1) We discussed Ovechkins contract status a few months ago on our blog.We were discussing the likely extensions we'd see before next summer.
2) We believe we were first to report problems could develop in negotiations
3) More recently (Last week) we updated our readers on the Ovechkin situation. Things are NOT going well up till now:

Posted by: fauxrumors | November 14, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Do you think Ovechkin will get an agent and take the Caps to the cleaners?

Posted by: Finn | November 14, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

i think its absolutely ridiculous that according to ov, they havent started "seriously" talking about an extension. M.I.H.

Posted by: maaaaan | November 14, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Look, things might not be going well with the AO negotiations or they might not have even started yet. However, we all need to look at Ted Leonsis and see how he has promoted the Washington Capitals team around Alex Ovechkin. From the hottie getting the tattoo to the zillion other commercials promoting the Capitals they have all focused on AO. Ted might not be a "smart" hockey person and we might have a clown for GM and carrottop for a coach but the three of them realize that if AO gets away hockey in Washington will not exist. Without question AO is the best player to ever put on a Capitals uniform and the team will recognize that when it comes down to the nitty gritty. Now, I've said in the past that AO may bolt if the team doesn't start winning. Understand, AO will resign here. But if a few years down the road this team is still rebuilding and not winning what do you think AO is going to want? Do you think he'll want to stick around and help a team rebuild even more or will he want to go to a team that is a proven winner and will help him get the championships he wants?

Posted by: Mitch | November 14, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Fehr looked good and showed real promise when he was up here - but Im a hundred times more concerned and AO's situation.

Posted by: captnclark | November 14, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Whatcha gonna do Ted Leonsis when Alex Ovechkin and his Momma come knocking on your door brother?

Posted by: Hulk Hogan | November 14, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the OV update Tarik.
Could you keep the antenna up for any Eric Fehr news? Last year, he looked like a Caps draftpick that might have made it in the NHL.

Posted by: Hattrick23 | November 14, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - I have a question.

The CBA states that a player cannot earn (per year) more than 20% of his teams total payroll. So how does this work with RFAs? How would the Caps be able to match an offer to Ovie, if say, Toronto offers the max amount - figuring Toronto has a higher payroll than the Caps and they had the cap space, of course?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I still don't know why people are freaking out. The max Ovie can get offered is like 12 mil or so (20% of the cap). The Caps are well under the upper limit. The NHL CBA doesn't allow voidable years, options or other assorted "poison pills". Unless Ted is a miser like Abe Pollin, Ovechkin isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: tallbear | November 14, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the question about the 20% limit per the CBA - the 20% is against the cap maximum, not the team's actual payroll amount. If the per team cap maximum is $60M, then the maximum individual player salary (averaged per year over the course of the contract) is $12M. Even if a team has a payroll of $44M, the maximum individual player salary is still the $12M rather than $8.8M.

Posted by: Nomad | November 14, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect, on basis do you think Leonsis is a spendthrift and Poulin a miser? Caps have had below the salary cap payroll since the strike and Leonsis says he won't spend more until ticket sales go up. At least under Abe, team was competitive. Leonsis, not Abe sold off all of the good players for draft picks. Abe build both arenas with his own money. Leonisis wants fans to pay for his rebuilding... Poulin made plenty of mistakes, but its hard to call him anywhere close to the miser Leonsis has been the past 4 years.

Posted by: Tailbair | November 14, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

When the Oilers send OV a 10MM offer sheet and the Caps don't match it, what do they have to send us?

I would think it would have to be a half a dozen first round picks. For Dustin Penner, they had to give up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick. OV is about 8 Dustin Penners. Also, the Caps got 5 first round picks from the St. Louis blues in 1990 for their offer sheet on Stevens.

Posted by: Rob | November 14, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Rob, and let the Rebuild-2 begin!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I think OV is a great player, but that would be an awful lot of draft picks, and would ensure they would be able to keep all the rest of the team together without worrying about the salary cap.

(I understand that the rest of the team is borderline AHL quality at this point, but an idea nevertheless)

Posted by: Rob | November 14, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Buffalo would have gotten first round picks in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 drafts. OV should get an extra pick or two compared to Vanek.

Posted by: Rob | November 14, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Tailbear, Abe Pollin though = spendthrift when it comes to the Caps when he let Scott Stevens walk. I think that was around the same time the Bullets re-upped Bernard King and his gimpy knees for a mega contract.

(I could be wrong on that though)

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | November 14, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Re Abe as the Miser, we need only look as far as HOF Scott Stevens.

Now, about Ovie. My sense is that, following a blown opportunity by GMGM to sign him over the summer of good feelings for this team, he and his mom decided to see how this season goes. If near season's end, he's happy and the team makes the playoffs, he may accept a deal close to Sidney's. If the season is a disaster, he'll ask for max dollars and four years, and Ted will likely have to accept it, because some other team would probably be willing and able to spend $12.5 million or whatever per year for such an elite talent. Ted will have to sign him for the reasons already stated.

What will happen when he's a UFA? I think for him to resign here, the team would have to be very close to a serious Cup run (or have just made one) AND attendance would have to be up considerably for a few years.

Posted by: pepper | November 14, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes, money was dumped into Les Boulez during that time (to no success by the way), and the Caps were forced to find loose change behind seat cushions.

Posted by: pepper | November 14, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse


Not resigning Ovechkin will get you 100 draft picks and a move to Kansas

Posted by: Finn | November 14, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse


Takin' whacks at wasp nests with a stick?

Posted by: Greg S. | November 14, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

At least we have some cap room to sign him.

Posted by: Larry | November 14, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Greg S., that was pretty funny.

All I'm saying is, I want to win, and 6 first rounders might just help with that.

Posted by: Rob | November 14, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse


You're a braver man than I am, that's for sure!

I don't mind getting 1st rounders for anyone. I'm just worried about who's making the pick of those 1st rounders.

And before anyone even suggests that I'm saying to trade AO for picks - I'M NOT!!!

Have a nice day. :D

Posted by: Greg S. | November 14, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It's four first rounders, and they don't do a lot of good if they are a team that is already good and Ovechkin helps them land as one of the top teams in the league. Four picks in the 27-30 range is no great shakes.

Posted by: Nomad | November 14, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe anyone is calling Abe a miser. The man has spent more of his money on this town than any other owner ever in this area. There are a lot of reasons why players and owners don't agree in a contract, to which we only know one, the money, but that is the end of a negotiation. To call a fine man like Abe as a miser based on that alone, is stupidity and ignorance at its brilliant best.

Posted by: Joe | November 14, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Rob... You might just be the only one who'd still buy tickets to come watch them play... Ovechkin is a franchise player. Ted has made a lot of monye selling Ovechkin. What is he going to sell then? The draft picks? Although people like you will still buy it... But there's a dozen or so of you

Posted by: Finn | November 14, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

1) What the old miser Abe Pollin did for downtown DC is amazing. I can clearly recal DC/Chinatown before verizon center was there, and it is a world of difference. He was a major factor getting DC to some level of respectability.

2) The Oilers are terrible. If they get OV, what makes you think they are going to be any better with 15MM locked up with Penner and OV? We can't win with him, so what makes you think edmonton will? What I'm saying is, we might get some pretty good/top ten prospects out of it.

BUT, I do hope OV signs for 8.8 mill for 8 years. That seems like a good number.

Posted by: Rob | November 14, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

They'll sign him, I'm sure. Don't worry about him. As for the money, there are more ways to get him non-salary dollars, so he may actually end up with more than he originally purportedly asked for.

So, chill.

Posted by: Greg S. | November 14, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's assume that out of 9k people actually buying tickets about a half (at best) would purchase tickets to watch another rebuild without Ovechkin. Hockey is business. Prospects belong in the AHL. The NHL is a pro-league.

Posted by: Finn | November 14, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The Oilers are Currently pretty damn maxed out as far as the cap goes.

Posted by: Daniel | November 14, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so how come GMGM always says that he won't discuss contracts, and the press releases always say something like 'in keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed'.... and then 2 hours later it's common knowledge what somebody signed for and for how long?

Posted by: SM | November 14, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

they advertised zednick (zed-heads) and still got rid of him. they advertised jagr and bumped bondra for him only to get rid of both. adverts don't mean they will sign him past his ufa.

negotiation is a stupid idea anyway. give him a blank check or board up the caps locker room.

not signing earlier i think was b/c they thought the seasong would go well. just shows they drank the kool aid. even if it did go well, so what? give him a blank check and don't even check to see how much $ he took out.

Posted by: jim | November 14, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

McPhee has studied Caps history and has come up with a solution. He will do it the Caps way! He will trade AO for Kevin Miller. This is not a salary dump! It is for the good of the club. McPhee will explore whether they can pick up half of AO's contract for 5 years - maybe he can squeeze out a 4th rounder if he does that.

Posted by: Frex | November 14, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

They gave JJ 11 mil per pre CBA
Makes sense to sign OV today for the max and get it over with.

Worst case, Ted will end up paying on another salary for a few years but at least they did Everything.

Posted by: Chief | November 14, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

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