Fedorov aims to be back next year

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He turns 40 in December, but Sergei Fedorov wants to return for a 19th NHL season - preferably with the Washington Capitals.

Fedorov becomes an unrestricted free agent in July and may have to take a pay cut from the $4 million he made this season, but he isn’t thinking about retirement.

“I cannot imagine myself retired; I don’t know why,” he said Friday. “I still have some legs left, I still enjoy the game and certainly enjoy this group of young, talented players.”

An ankle injury limited Fedorov to 52 regular-season games this year, but he appeared in all 14 playoff games, posting eight points and averaging 16:39 of ice time.

“A hundred percent for sure, we need a guy like Feds,” Alex Ovechkin said.

Said general manager George McPhee: “We have to talk to him about what he wants to do going forward and what kind of role he would expect to play and see if that links [with the team’s plans] and go from there.”

Fedorov said his agent approached McPhee about a contract extension near midseason but was told negotiations would not begin until after the playoffs.

“I hope the feeling is mutual,” Fedorov said. “I really enjoy this organization, the group of players I work with, and it’s an awesome city to play in with great fans.”

Acquired from Columbus at the trade deadline in 2008, Fedorov has 46 points in 70 regular-season games and 13 points in 21 playoff games with the Capitals.

Theodore looks ahead

Jose Theodore, benched after the first game of the playoffs, said he expects to return to the Caps and intends to win his starting job back.

“I think [Simeon Varlamov] is the goalie of the future, but he’s still a young goalie and I still see myself as a No. 1 goalie and see myself coming here next camp and being ready right off the bat,” Theodore said. “I know what I can do, and from there they can decide what they want to do.”

McPhee and coach Bruce Boudreau have not anointed Varlamov the No. 1 goalie. Varlamov, Theodore and Michal Neuvirth are under contract; Brent Johnson is set to become a free agent.

Theodore won 32 games and posted a 2.87 goals-against average in the regular season but lost his job after giving up four goals in a Game 1 loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

“I played one game that wasn’t a good game, but in every series a goalie is going to have an off game,” he said. “I was ready to bounce back, and I didn’t really have a chance to do that.”

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