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Ovechkin opting out of Russian contract to join Capitals

| Thursday, July 21, 2005

WASHINGTON - Alexander Ovechkin's agent told the Capitals that the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft is opting out of his contract with a Russian club so he can join Washington this season.

Ovechkin had until midnight Wednesday to get out of his 2005-06 deal with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Super League.

The NHL and the players' union reached an agreement in principle last week on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Ovechkin, a forward, played for Russia in this year's world championships and had a goal and two assists in a 6-3 victory over Sweden in the bronze-medal game.

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