Alexander Ovechkin was never going anywhere.
That statement was only confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, with the Washington Capitals announcing that they had come to terms with their longtime captain on a five-year, $47.5 million contract extension.
The deal, which keeps Ovechkin in Washington until 2026, carries an average annual cap hit of $9.5 million.
It was business as usual for Ovechkin in 2021, with Great Eight racking up an impressive 24 goals and 42 points in 45 games. Ovechkin is still the same unstoppable force he's always been this deep into his career, averaging around 19-20 minutes of ice time per game while filling the net with goals and giving opposing penalty killers nightmares as perhaps the most lethal power play option in the league.
As such, the odds of the NHL's best sniper finishing his career with the only team he's ever known increase significantly after Tuesday's signing.
Ovechkin is set to turn 36 prior to the beginning of next season, meaning that he will be 41 years old by the time this extension runs out. Of course, players have extended their careers past that age. Joe Thornton, for instance, suited up for the bulk of last season at the ripe old age of 42. But those examples are few and far between.
This will likely be Ovechkin's last contract with the Capitals. And what a ride it has been.