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Alex Ovechkin Signs Long-Term Equipment Deal With Bauer

ARLINGTON, VA - Last week, the Washington Capitals made it public that captain Alex Ovechkin had a "special announcement" to make. Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Ovechkin made it clear when he announced that he has signed an endorsement deal with Bauer and will exclusively use their equipment on the ice. Bauer President and CEO Kevin Davis confirmed that the deal with Ovechkin is for six years.

"I'm happy to be back," Ovechkin said. "It was a long summer. I am happy to be with Bauer right now and it's a good day for me. I hope my results and the team's results are going to be better this year than last year."

Ovechkin, who had been with CCM since entering the NHL in 2005, also signed an endorsement deal with Nike late last week.

Ovechkin's announcement was not the only one made Tuesday. Bauer and Ovechkin will donate a total of 216 sets of equipment, with 108 going to Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association (PVAHA) and another 108 going to the Dynamo Hockey School in Moscow, Russia. The Caps will also donate $25,000 to PVAHA.

There was plenty of evidence that Ovechkin's "special announcement" involved Bauer in some way, from the conspicuous car parked outside Kettler Tuesday to the fact that Ovechkin was on the ice last week using Bauer equipment. Ovechkin will be using the Bauer Vapor APX stick next season, which has yet to be unveiled, but Ovechkin has already tried his hand with his new equipment.

"He's very, very confident in his new equipment," Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said of Ovechkin. "I think that that's half the battle. It's like a golfer with new clubs. He's been trying his hardest to try to break his stick and so far, they seem to be indestructible. That makes us all smile."

For more on the Capitals, visit Japers Rink.