I get it. The outlook is grim. The Capitals are in last place in the NHL with a 2-7-1 record and will likely miss the playoffs. They have a minus-13 goal differential (worst in league) and have yet to score more than three goals in a game. Their penalty kill is ranked 23rd in the league, which is compounded by the fact they have been shorthanded 47 times (tied for third worst). Faceoffs, once a hallmark of head coach Adam Oates’s career, is also floundering at 47.8 percent. But that doesn’t mean Alex Ovechkin should no longer be a member of the team.
Sure, his production is nowhere close to what it was when he signed the first $100 million deal in NHL history back in January 2008 — a $124 million, 13-year contract extension that runs through the 2020-21 season — but it still doesn’t make getting rid of Ovechkin the right move.
For one, the economics of a buyout do not make financial sense. According to CapGeek, when a player is bought out, the team still takes a cap hit for the player over a period of twice the remaining length of the contract. So, using CapGeek’s buyout calculator:
Alex Ovechkin is 27 years old on the buyout date of June 15, 2013, setting the buyout ratio at 2/3 and the total buyout cost at $52,666,667 spread over 16 years. His contract was originally valued at $124,000,000 beginning in 2008 and ending in 2021, with $79,000,000 remaining from the buyout year forward.