Ovi eyeing Gretzky's goal record: 'That's why I wanna play 5 more years'
"That's why I wanna play five more years," Ovechkin said, according to Andrew Gillis of NBC Sports Washington. "To have a chance to catch the Great One, why not?"
Having scored 730 goals, Ovechkin is 165 tallies away from breaking Gretzky's mark of 894. He'll need to average at least 33 goals per season during the duration of his new deal to accomplish the feat.
The 16-year NHL veteran has only missed that mark three times, including during the shortened 2012-13 and 2020-21 campaigns. He's scored 50 goals or more in eight seasons, most recently in 2018-19 when he lit the lamp 51 times.
Despite the fact Ovechkin will be in his 40s when his contract expires, the Capitals are behind the Great Eight's quest to beat the Great One.
"You want to be able to have a great team in a big market with a once-in-a-generation player who has a chance to break a record that, to be honest, I thought was unbreakable," owner Ted Leonsis said. "As you break that down, 33 goals a year and (if) he'll stay healthy, it is a doable achievement."
But if Ovechkin can't break the all-time record, he at least looks primed to take the No. 2 spot from Gordie Howe, who scored 801 career goals. Ovechkin must average just over 14 tallies per season during his deal to claim second place.
"If I'm gonna be second, you know, it's a pretty good number as well," Ovechkin said.