Alex Ovechkin is expected to re-sign with the Washington Capitals before he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, general manager Brian MacLellan said Saturday.
"I think both parties want the same goal and I think we will get it done by then," MacLellan said. "I anticipate us getting it done by then."
Ovechkin has been negotiating his contract with the Capitals without an agent, as he did in 2008, when he signed his expiring 13-year, $124 million contract ($9.538 million average annual value). The 35-year-old forward has repeatedly said he'd like to return to Washington, which selected him with the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.
"I think we are making progress," MacLellan said. "Our goal is to finish it up here by free agency."
Ovechkin led the Capitals with 24 goals in 45 regular-season games this season despite missing an NHL career-high 11 games, including four while in NHL COVID-19 protocol and seven with a groin injury. He scored four points (two goals, two assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Washington was eliminated in five games by the Boston Bruins in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup First Round.
Ovechkin is sixth in NHL history with 730 goals in 16 seasons with Washington, one goal behind Marcel Dionne for fifth and 11 goals behind Brett Hull for fourth.
Defenseman Zdeno Chara also can become unrestricted free agent Wednesday and is not expected to re-sign with the Capitals before then, but MacLellan said he would probably circle back to his agent at some point. Chara, who signed a one-year, $795,000 contract Dec. 30 after playing 14 seasons for the Bruins, scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 55 regular-season games and no points in five playoff games.