Ovechkin Agrees to Record Contract with Capitals, Four Franchises to Fold

The Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League have agreed to a contract extension with 22-year old Alexender Ovechkin on a record setting deal that will keep him in the nation’s capital for more than a decade. The final terms, which were negotiated between Ovechkin and the team directly since the star does not have an agent, were a 13-year extension that will pay the prolific goal scorer a record $124 million for the length of the deal. It is the first contract in NHL history to eclipse the $100 million mark.

The Russian left winger will receive $9 million per season through the first six years of the deal and then $10 million per season after that. The contract also includes a “limited-movement” clause, which allows Ovechkin to name several teams each season where he cannot be traded.

Ovechkin was the #1 pick overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. He joined the team for the 2005-06 season because of the NHL lockout and was the landslide winner of the NHL’s Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year, earning 124 of a possible 129 first-place votes to beat out second place finisher Sidney Crosby.

The NHL will be assisting the Capitals in paying for the contract, as no team in the league has the financial resources to pay for a deal of this size. To facilitate the funding required, the NHL has announced that they will be dissolving franchises in Phoenix, Columbus, Nashville, and Tampa Bay, despite massive protests from fans in each city. In one instance, all 17 fans of the Nashville Predators turned out screaming obscenities towards Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the NHL. Unfortunately for the diehards, their calls fell on deaf ears.

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