Alex Ovechkin is undecided when it comes to his future playing career.
Ovechkin, who has two years remaining on his 13-year, $124 million contract, was asked this week at a Moscow press conference about his plans when his contract with the Capitals expires.
“I have two more years of contract. Next year, there may be a lockout, so let's see where I’ll play," Ovechkin said in a story published by Russian outlet Sports.ru. "Everything will depend on health, because I do not want to be broken. After completing a career, you want to play with children and feel normal."
Ovechkin, who turns 34 this summer, has an 11-month old son named Sergei.
The potential lockout Ovechkin is referring to would be in the 2020-21 season, the final year of his existing contract. The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire following the 2021-22 season. Both the league and the player’s association have the option to opt out one year early, however.
If the NHL chooses to opt out of the current CBA, they must notify the NHLPA on Sept. 1 of this year. If the NHLPA chooses to opt out, they can choose to do so on Sept. 19.
If either side chooses to opt out, the CBA would then expire in September 2020, setting up the possibility for a lockout to start the 2020-21 season.
Ovechkin said that he isn't interested in a career in coaching following his eventual retirement. He isn't ruling out a government job, though.
"Will I head the Ministry of Sports of Russia? Let's see, then everything will be clear," he said.
The 2022 Beijing Olympics will likely be a factor in Ovechkin's future. Ovechkin has spoken repeatedly about still wanting to win Olympic gold for Russia, and it likely won't be known if the NHL will allow its players to participate in the Olympics until the next CBA talks.
When asked in March about the 2022 Olympics, Ovechkin wouldn't rule out a return to the KHL when his current contract expires in order to maintain his Olympic eligibility.
"It depends on many factors: my family, my physical condition, etc.," said Ovechkin. "Let’s not look that far. We’ll figure everything out closer to the Olympic games."