The Capitals' downturn has hampered Alex Ovechkin's pursuit of Wayne Gretzky.

One of the more interesting NHL storylines to follow in the coming seasons will be Washington Capitals player Alex Ovechkin's attempt to break Wayne Gretzky's goal record.

Ovechkin is currently only 72 goals behind Gretzky's 894 goals. With three years left on his deal and the forward remaining fit, 

there's no doubt he'll shatter the record. It's simply a matter of when, and where the new record sits by the time he retires.

With 42 goals and 75 points in 73 games this season, Ovechkin shows no signs of slowing down. 

He scored nearly twice as many goals as any other Capitals player this season.

However, it is that roster that complicates things for Ovechkin's goal pursuit.

Washington missed the playoffs for the first time in over a decade this season. This trade deadline, the Capitals were clear sellers,

trading off Dmitry Orlov and others. While that was almost certainly intended to be a one-time sale, it is more likely to be the start of the end for Washington.