SovSport writers Pavel Lysenkov and Dmitri Chesnokov wrote a big article about Ovechkin's signing, no surprise. The story how SovSport, RDS.CA and OnFrozenBlog reported it simultaneously already was in OnFrozenBlog's "From Russia With Love" :-) novel. (If you haven't read it, do it, it's a must read.)
So I translated only the part where they interviewed Ovechkin's father Mikhail. He gives an interesting chronology of negotiations between Washington and Ovechkin's clan.
From SovSport, Jan. 12
Q.: Could you give us details about negotiations? "Soviet sport" reported that Ovechkin is ready to sign a 6-year $54M and all of a sudden a killer -- $124M!
Mikhail Ovechkin:Your information was absolutely correct but only till 3:00PM (by that time the newspaper went to print). But if I may, I will start from the beginning…
Last summer Washington has made us the first offer: 6 years $7.5M a year. It was shortly before Sidney Crosby signed his contract ($43.5M for 5 years, an average of $ 8.7 million per season). We refused because we didn't like the amount.
Then there was an offer for $8M. Shortly after, before the New Year, for $8.2M, all numbers per season for 6 years. But we still didn't come to an agreement. And two days ago Washington made a final offer: $54M for 6 years. On average $9M. We gave a green light.
Q.: And then?
Mikhail Ovechkin:On Thursday at 1:30PM we came to to sign the contract. And then Capitals owner Ted Leonsis makes an unexpected offer to us: "Let's add another $10M for the next 6 years? To have a contract for 12 seasons." We gave it a thought and replied "Let's do it, but for 7 years $10M. Sasha will be exactly 35 years old by then".
After all, I feel like Dad was more involved in negotiations than Ovechkin's Mom. He always wanted Alex to play in NHL. I wonder where and who first said when Ovechkin fired his agent that his Mom was going to represent him. Oh well...