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Alex Ovechkin Talks Retirement At End of Next Season

Alex Ovechkin talked a lot of things while Wayne Gretzky and among them was how likely it will be he retires at the end of next season.

Fans who want to see Alex Ovechkin catch Wayne Gretzky and his goal-scoring record won’t love the idea that Ovie is even thinking about hanging up the skates. But, that’s one of things he talked about during an interview with NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen and Wayne Gretzky.

Discussing everything from Gretzky’s record to how hard Ovechkin plays, the topic of how long he may play came up. Ovechkin said he’s grateful he’s still healthy and loves hockey, but added, “We’ll see, I have one more year after this season and we’ll see.”

Ovechkin is right in that he has one more season until his current contract with the Capitals runs out. It was a deal he negotiated himself and coming right out of his rookie contract. He’s been lights-out good for almost all of that time and he’s stayed relatively healthy. And, while he seems to be built like a truck and isn’t slowing down, he is getting older and if this season doesn’t resume, it’s one more small hurdle he’d have to jump.

He explained:

“I’m healthy, thank God, and I still love this game. As soon as I’m not going to love this game, I’m not going to cheat on it. I respect it a lot, and I don’t want to put my name on the caliber players who just play out there and take somebody’s spots. I don’t want to do that.”

But Ovechkin has a record to catch and he wants to try. So, perhaps what he does will determine how close he is to that record at the end of next season. A strong season may mean an easy decision. A not-so strong one might lean towards him realizing that record — one that was already going to be tough to catch — is out of reach. He had 48 tallies when this current season went on pause.

And, heaven forbid, should he stop playing when the 2020-21 season concludes, he’s had one heck of a career.

“Right now, I can’t even realize what I did throughout all my career because you know my career is not ending, but to be eighth all time (on the all-time goals list), it’s special.”

Related: Calgary Flames’ Ex-Coach Bill Peters Lands a Coaching Gig in the KHL

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