Daily Roundup: Alex Ovechkin talks about his future, Ryan Strome signs, and more

Updated: November 6, 2020 at 2:46 pm by Cam Lewis

Welcome to Daily Faceoff’s daily NHL roundup where we bring you the NHL’s most important news and rumours every day. 

Alex Ovechkin discusses his future

It looks like @Alexander Ovechkin plans to finish his career playing in Russia.

The Great Eight said on a Russian television program that his plan is to eventually return to his native Russia and finish off his hockey career playing for Dynamo Moscow.

“My career is not over yet. I’m still in my prime,” Ovechkin told Russian Television International, as translated by Sportsnet. “I think I will definitely play for a few more years, God grant that my health is good. I would finish in Russia at Dynamo Moscow.

“It’s not a question of money. It’s a matter of principle. I played for only two teams — Dynamo and Washington.

It’s clear, in two, three, four years, maybe five, I will end my career in Washington.I want to end on a beautiful note, to play my last match for Dynamo Moscow.”

Ovechkin has one more year left on the massive 13-year contract he signed back in 2008 at a $9,538,462 cap hit. It seems very unlikely that he’ll leave Washington in free agency and that he’ll finish his NHL career as a member of the Capitals.

When will that NHL career end? Who knows. As Ovechkin says, he’s still in his prime and he could play multiple more seasons in the NHL before he ultimately heads to Russia to sail off into the sunset.

One would assume that Ovechkin’s aim is to become the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring leader. He currently sits eighth all-time with 706 goals, 188 behind Wayne Gretzky’s record of 894. If Ovechkin can maintain a 50-goal clip for four more years, he’ll pass Gretzky and become the first NHLer to score 900 goals.

Rangers and Ryan Strome avoid arbitration

The New York Rangers and Ryan Strome have agreed to a two-year deal worth $4,5000,000 annually.

Strome was set to hit arbitration in which, according to Elliotte Friedman, he was seeking $5,700,000 and the team was seeking $3,600,000. A two-year deal with a cap hit of $4,500,000 that eats up one free agent year is a nice deal for both sides.

The 2019-20 season was Strome’s first full campaign with the New York Rangers. He was acquired by New York from Edmonton back in 2018-19 in a one-for-one deal involving Ryan Spooner.

In 2019-20, Strome enjoyed the best season of his career, posting 18 goals and 59 points, both of which were career-highs. A major key to Strome’s breakout was the addition of Artemi Panarin, as the duo immediately found chemistry on New York’s top line.

Also, sticking with the Rangers, the team has agreed to a two-year deal with forward Brendan Lemieux worth $1,550,000 annually.

With Strome and Lemieux signed, the Rangers managed to avoid arbitration with all of their restricted free agents.

NBA to start 2020-21 season on Dec. 22

On Thursday, the NBA announced that the league is planning to start its 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, roughly two-and-a-half months after completing its 2020 playoff tournament.

For the NBA, getting started ahead of Christmas was critical for the league’s revenue. An annual NBA tradition is playing a full slate of games on Christmas Day, which results in massive viewership and helps drive the purchase of merchandise.

While the NBA has managed to get things up and running quickly for next season, the NHL still doesn’t yet have a start date planned, though the goal does still seem to be Jan. 1.