Though he wasn't going to go anywhere anyways, the greatest player in Washington Capitals franchise history made it official last week by signing a five-year contract extension to remain a member of the Caps for another half-decade.
Of course, Alexander Ovechkin is already regarded as one of the greatest goal-scorers in National Hockey League history, and should he continue with his current scoring pace, one statistic that had previously been thought to be unbreakable is now within striking distance. With 730 career goals under his belt, he's now gunning for the NHL's all time record of 892 career goals set by none other than Wayne Gretzky.
And Capitals team owner Ted Leonsis is prepared to make that goal a reality. The following has been translated from NHL.com of Russia:
"We will do everything to help Ovi to become first (in goals), cause if that happens it will be important not only for him but for our fans too who love him, for our franchise and the whole league after all! I used to think it's impossible to break Gretky's records. But now I think it's more & more realistic (achievable). If Alex is healthy then he can achieve it. Imagine, such a way to finish his career!"
“I felt it at the very moment when we chose him in the 2004 draft and I hugged him on the way to the stage,” he recalled. "I still remember how loudly and strongly his heart was beating. Over the years, we all became convinced that he has a really big one."
“I told him then:“ Ovi , we didn’t accidentally pick first in the draft. We are not very strong yet, but together we can go this way to the top. "And he believed. When in 2008 he signed a contract for 13 years, he showed everyone that it is with Washington that he wants to win the Cup."
And while the goal scoring record is within reach, there's still a more important goal on Ovechkin's radar - a second Stanley Cup win.
"Of course, winning the second Cup for the club, for the city is the most important motivation," the captain of the Capitals admitted. "When you do it once, you want more and more. Look at Tampa. We also want repetition."