Could Alex Ovechkin Actually Leave Washington Capitals This Offseason?

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils lost every single game to the Washington Capitals. Again, our Devils lost every game. It was just not a very good look on any account. However, it’s hard to get mad when you lose to a team with the greatest scoring forward of all time.

Alexander Ovechkin has been crushing the Devils over the years. He scored six goals against the Devils this season in eight games. He scored five goals in four games against the Devils last season. Looking back at his 16-year NHL career, and it’s more of the same. Ovechkin has dominated the Devils. The Devils have seen Ovechkin light the lamp 36 times over his career. If Ovechkin played a full 82-game season against only the Devils, he’d score 92 points.

The Devils would love to see a lot less of Ovechkin if that was possible. Actually, it is very much possible. Ovechkin is a free agent this offseason.

Should the Devils pursue Ovechkin on the open market? Absolutely. Would it make any sense for Ovechkin to sign with the Devils? Heck no, but the Devils should still make their pitch to one of the best players ever when he becomes available for free.

Ovechkin seems like a formality to re-sign in Washington, but we’ve seen some strange things happen in the NHL. Daniel Alfredsson left the Ottawa Senators. Eric Lindros left the Philadelphia Flyers. Mike Modano left the Dallas Stars. That is the end of the list of legends leaving the only team they know for another one in the game of hockey. We will not acknowledge any other list.

Anyway, Ovechkin has a ton of options out there. He could go to a no-tax state like Florida or Texas to make the most of his money at the end of his career. There are teams closer to a championship like Vegas or Carolina, that might be enticing to him. He might want to go back to Russia like Pavel Datsyuk and finish out his career in the KHL (which would be a real shame). There are options for Ovechkin outside the U.S. capital.

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The most likely option here seems like Ovechkin returning to the Capitals, but there’s at least a slight possibility he could leave the Devils’ division. The Caps have lost in the first round every year since winning the Stanley Cup three seasons ago. Before that, the Caps never made it past the second round. Ovechkin might be looking for a change in his career which he hopes would include longer playoff runs. Devils fans and Devils players for that matter can only hope.