Ovi just turned 35 years old in September. And for all intents and purposes, he is absolutely right that he's still in his prime. He is just as big, fast, furious, and dominant as ever. Ok fine, he might not put up 65 goals a season like he did in 2007-08, but in the last 3 years he has gone 49 (82 games), 51 (82 games), and 48 (68 games). He got absolutely fuckeddddd trying to get 50 this last season. And with 12 games remaining, 60 was not completely out of the question.
But that's neither here nor there, the point is if he wants to pass Gretzky, he will pass Gretzky. It's only a matter of if he wants to do it or not, not *if* he can do it or not. So I think he will just play it by ear, and I'm a-ok with that. If he plays 3 more years and feels he's accomplished all there is to accomplish and doesn't want to do the 82 game grind anymore, more power to him. But if he's putting up 50 a season into his 40 year season...I sure hope he pulls a Jagr and plays forever.
I don't care WHAT team he plays for either, I will be an Ovi fan for life. Obviously I hope he's a Cap forever, but things happen. I think he is universally the most beloved hockey player in the NHL, and if the Caps are forced to move on from him for whatever reason, it'll be like how Rangers fans are still rooting for Lundqvist, which is perfectly fine.
And when he eventually moves on and goes back to Russia, let us hope it's not for too long. We need him in America being his hilarious self. We need him to forever be an ambassador for the league.
Let's hope we get another decade out of him in America. The league is in good hands with guys like McDavid, MacKinnon, and Pastrnak, but it simply won't be the same without the Great 8.