Sport Alex Ovechkin's 13-year deal has been a sports bargain

19:51  13 march  2018
19:51  13 march  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

Ovechkin when asked if Laine reminds him of younger self: 'I'm still young'

  Ovechkin when asked if Laine reminds him of younger self: 'I'm still young' It feels like ages ago when a 20-year-old Alex Ovechkin took the league by storm in his rookie season, scoring 52 goals to capture the Calder Trophy over Sidney Crosby, but 12 years later, "The Great Eight" still sees himself as a spring chicken. Prior to a marquee matchup between the league's two top goal-scorers - he and Winnipeg Jets phenom Patrik Laine - Ovechkin was asked if he sees "young Ovi" in Laine, to which he replied: "I'm still young," according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.

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Alex Ovechkin was the NHL’s first $100 million athlete, and he’s been worth every penny.

Alex Ovechkin joins NHL's exclusive 600-goal club

  Alex Ovechkin joins NHL's exclusive 600-goal club Alex Ovechkin has become the 20th player in NHL history to score 600 goals.The captain of the Washington Capitals scored twice Monday night against the Winnipeg Jets to reach the milestone in his 990th regular-season game. Ovechkin became the fourth-fastest player in NHL history to 600 behind only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull.

A decade ago, when the Washington Capitals signed Ovechkin to a 13-year deal with worth $124 million, naysayers suggested the Capitals would regret that deal in the future.

We are now down that road, and no one in Washington is second-guessing any part of this contract.

When this deal was signed, Ovechkin had 130 goals in 2 1/2 seasons.

Last night, Ovechkin scored his 600th career goal, and during the 10 years of this deal he's averaged 43.7 goals per season in an era when scoring has become more difficult.

At 32, Ovechkin has three seasons remaining on his deal and there are no signs that his performance level is on the decline.

More: Alex Ovechkin scores 600th career NHL goal

More: Senators' Craig Anderson buys Stoneman Douglas hockey team 60 tickets to NHL game

Can Alex Ovechkin become the NHL's all-time goal-scoring king?

  Can Alex Ovechkin become the NHL's all-time goal-scoring king? Despite having been retired for 19 years, Wayne Gretzky still owns more than 50 NHL records - and it's fair to say that most of them are safe. But the Great One may one day cede one of his most impressive marks - the league record in goals - to the Great Eight.

Ovechkin needs eight more goals this season to record his eighth season with 50 or more goals. Six of those will have come during this contract. Only four other NHL players (Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Corey Perry) have reached 50 goals in the last 10 seasons. Stamkos has done it twice.

Ovechkin, a nine-time All-Star, has clearly been the greatest goal scorer of this generation. You can’t argue that.

Alex Ovechkin et al. standing in front of a store: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin shows off his 600th goal puck.© Patrick Smith, Getty Images Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin shows off his 600th goal puck. According to ESPN.com, the Capitals are third in the NHL in home attendance in terms of percentage to capacity. The Caps are playing to 104.7% of capacity. How big of a role does Ovechkin’s popularity play in that figure? We can assume it plays a significant one.

Ovechkin is charismatic. He can be entertaining in front of a microphone.

You can’t argue how much passion he has for the game, although people like to try.

'It Just Moves Like Crazy': The Deception and Motion of Alex Ovechkin's Shot

  'It Just Moves Like Crazy': The Deception and Motion of Alex Ovechkin's Shot Braden Holtby is both a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie and an insightful thinker, equally sculpted from Roy and Rodin. ARLINGTON, Va. -- Braden Holtby is both a Vezina Trophy-winning goalie and an insightful thinker, equally sculpted from Roy and Rodin. He delved into sports psychology as a teenager, which inspired an exhaustive pregame routine of focus exercises and visualization techniques. He reads books on team flights, self-teaches guitar chords from an app, spends mornings filling out crossword puzzles at the rink.

But Ovechkin hasn’t won a Stanley Cup. One oddity of the NHL is that followers of the sport like to crow about how it is the ultimate team sport. You can’t win with only one or two good players, they say.

But when their team doesn’t win, they often assign blame to one player. People like to blame Ovechkin for Washington’s postseason failings.

Of course, it’s never that simple. Anyone who knows Ovechkin knows he cares greatly about the Capitals. You don’t score as many goals as he does without being a driven performer. Anyone who watched him fight back emotion to answer reporters questions after the Capitals were eliminated last spring would never say he didn’t care.

It’s always difficult to pinpoint why teams win or don’t win, but it’s usually never as simple as one player being the reason.

Ovechkin has played a significant role this season in helping Washington exceed expectations. This team was supposed to take a half-step back because of player departures due to salary cap issues. With less than four weeks in the regular season, the Capitals sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Ovechkin doesn’t deserve all of the credit for that, just like doesn’t deserve all of the blame when they lose. There are no absolutes in sports, including when it comes to long-term contracts.

Owners have long been fearful of long-term contracts, which is why today's Collective Bargaining Agreement only allows a maximum of eight years on a deal. Owners didn't want to see any more 13-year contracts.

But Ovechkin’s deal proves they can work with the right athletes.  This Ovechkin 13-year deal, paying an average of $9.538 million, may end up being one of the fairest long-term deals in sports history. The Capitals were willing to pay full freight when Ovechkin was  young, and he has consistently delivered like one of the league’s top stars. Neither side has any right to complain.

Teen Palestinian protester could serve 8 months under deal .
<p>The lawyer for Ahed Tamimi says she has reached a plea bargain with Israeli military prosecutors after she was seen on video slapping and kicking a pair of Israeli soldiers.</p><p></p>Gaby Lasky said Wednesday's deal, which still needs to be approved by the military judge presiding over the case, would allow Tamimi to go home this summer.

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