PL: People wonder if you ever thought that you may have miscalculated signing a thirteen year $124 million contract...
AO: Why would I think that?
PL: Because the cap in the NHL is rising and in a few years your $9.5 million per year on average contract might look "average" comparing to other offers. [Jaromir] Jagr is not too excited about getting $6 million nowadays.
AO: I only look positive at the fact that Jagr is getting offered a lot of money. Jaromir deserves a big contract. And let me have my fixed salary. You know the saying that you cannot make all the money in the world? I like it. It is so much easier to know that I will not have a headache about money until I am 35. It is better than to test the free agency every two or three years and negotiate contracts.
PL: If in a few years your $9.5 million look "average" will you ask Ted Leonsis for bigger bonuses?
AO: I wouldn't do that. The contract I was offered in Washington is good enough. I haven't received any money from it yet, though, because it doesn't kick in until next season.
PL: Do you know if Sergei Fedorov is going to stay in Washington?
AO: I am voting with both of my hands and legs in favor of Sergei staying! Of course, the decision doesn't rest with players, but with the Caps management. I know that Sergei has a great desire to play for our club. He really liked it in Washington.
PL: The last time you spoke was in May after the World Championship?
AO: No, we keep in touch all the time. For example, we spoke on the phone just a couple of days ago. And Fedorov confirmed that he would prefer to stay in Washington.
PL: Could Jagr really come to play in Russia?
AO: I think that Jaromir himself will decide where he will play. He is one of the best hockey players in the world. And I am sure that he will earn every penny of the contract he will sign. And if it so happens that he actually ends up in the KHL, it will be a major plus to our hockey. Players like him are not only the face of a team, but the face of the league.
PL: Do you think Washington should be active on the market this summer? Does the team need to strengthen?
AO: The first thing we need to do is to keep the players whose contracts have ended. Mike Green, for example, who is set to become a RFA. But of course other players can also help. That's because we are setting our sights on the Stanley Cup. Actually, George [McPhee] knows what to do. So I don't want to say anything to disturb him.
PL: How are you spending your summer?
AO: Having a lot of fun! Because I will have to start working out soon. A few days ago I got back from Turkey. I am going to visit St Petersburg soon.
PL: Are you going to have your summer workouts there?
AO: Dmitry Kapitonov, my personal trainer, hasn't picked a place yet. But most likely we will do it in Moscow.
[Speaking of Fedorov, Tarik's got the latest:
The Caps are still very much interested in signing the 38-year-old forward, but some compromise will be needed to get a deal done, a source told me. It's believed that Fedorov is seeking around $4 million per year, which is about $2 million more than the Caps are comfortable offering.]