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Alex Ovechkin cryptically refers to “jealousy” in Caps locker room

May 15, 2012, 12:54 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Plenty of Washington Capitals players are upset that Dale Hunter decided to leave, but Alex Ovechkin probably won’t convince many that he’s one of them. Yet there’s something else Ovechkin would like to see change in Washington, according to these mysterious comments via Stephen Whyno.

“I don’t know who’s going to be the coach next year but the leaders in this group have to be together and don’t look, you know. … I don’t know how to explain better, but sometimes you don’t have to be jealous,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t want to say it was a jealous situation for us, but sometimes you just have to be a group together.”

Well, that’s interesting and more than a little cryptic. Whyno pried a little further to try to get more from Ovechkin on the subject of “jealousy.”

“I don’t want to say persons, I don’t want to say situations, but sometimes you just know like, some guys, if you didn’t play well they just look at you like, you know,” Ovechkin said. “Of course, you can see it, I can see it and somebody else gonna see it and it’s not the way we gonna win the game.”

Well, that’s interesting … and rather cryptic. What’s more fun is to guess which “persons” and/or “situations” Ovechkin is referencing. I’ll leave that speculation to you,* but it’s obvious that the Capitals hope to make some serious changes going forward.

* – I’ll admit that I’d love to use an awful pun like “Mike Green with envy,” though. Oof that’s bad.

  1. ravenscaps48 - May 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    This team need to be blown up, starting with the C being stripped…

    • nobandwagoners - May 15, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      Leadership obviously starts at the top and the guy with the ‘C’ on his sweater. He needs to set the example for the rest of the team. From what I’ve seen of Ovi, he has an odd way of leading the team. He is undoubtably hugely talented but his leadership skills are lacking.

      • selldannysell - May 15, 2012 at 8:44 AM

        As big of a fan of the team as I am, Ovie never should have gotten the C in the first place. Brooks Laich and Matt Hendricks have proven themselves to be more of the leaders of this team. In fact, it was the aforementioned team captain who lost the puck, got knocked down, and didn’t hustle to get back on defense as the Rangers were scoring what would become the series-winning goal in Game 7. Stop your pouting, shut up, and play!

      • ravenscaps48 - May 15, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Amen, Brother! Laich and Hendricks are PERFECT options!

    • davidpcoelho - May 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Let’s blow up that Caps and make a better, stronger team with free agency and drafts…there are bound to be enough players to make a run! I see it in Hollywood movies ALL the time

      [[end sarcasm]]

      I think he was just referring to Semin

      • sabatimus - May 15, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Semin’s not going to be on the team next year anyway.

      • ravenscaps48 - May 15, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        I was referring to Semin, Wideman, Schultz, Green, Knuble (HATE to see him walk) Perreault, Aucoin (AHLers at best!) OFF of this team!… Give the opportunity to guys that can actually compete at a high level and not under-achieve (Semin and Green) or try to over-do it and end up hurting the team (Perreault and Aucoin)…. Or people who flat out just don’t care (Schultz and Wideman)…… It will definitely be interesting to see what shakes out of this

    • rg3isvictory - May 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      Man, O’man!!!

      His potential keeps my hopes up that he’ll figure it out and return to his old form but he knows he is the ‘king’ of the caps and there is nothing anybody except the owner can do about it! This is why owners shouldnt be BFF’s with players! Meanwhile you have great players watching one coach after another leave so Willie Beamen can be the man! At this point I don’t see how he’ll change. The damn circling in the defensive zone will continue!!! He should be traded now before his attitude lessens his value anymore then it already has!!!

  2. bmscalise - May 15, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    It doesn’t seem like “jealous” is quite the word he wanted. It sounds more like he just wanted to express the idea of division, that the feelings between some players weren’t positive. And quite frankly, anyone who follows hockey likely already suspected that.

    • nydaniel - May 15, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      I THINK what he was trying to say is that certain players (persons) are expecting him to carry the team, and when he doesn’t they’re pretty obvious with the blame-game.
      What all that means I’m not sure, but it doesn’t sound good.

      • polegojim - May 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Well…. by the way he ended that series… no one should have ANY confusion thinking THAT anymore…

    • stakex - May 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      Yeah, I I don’t think Ovi quite knew the word he wanted to use… because “jealous” doesn’t make any sense there.

  3. sheckyrimshot - May 15, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    he probably thinks dale hunter was jealous of his “world class talent” and that’s why he was benched.

  4. greatminnesotasportsmind - May 15, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    I’d take him on my team…just sayin

    • hockeyfan21 - May 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      I’m with you greatminnesotasportsmind – complaining about Ovechkin on your team is nuts. I’d take him on my team any day…just sayin

      • polegojim - May 15, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        Why would either of you take him on your team?

    • bethgoesglobal - May 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      Not sure if you check your replies but I’ve been thinking for a while that Semin could be a pretty good addition to the Wild. (I may be a a bit biased though since I’m a Caps fan now living in MN and trying hard to become a Wild fan). However, despite all the crap that people say about him, Semin is a very talented player. I love watching him skate and a more supportive env’t may just be the trick to getting him to play up to his potential.

  5. capsfan19 - May 15, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    Im going to guess brooks laich. I love the guy but with i do think its odd that he does so many radio shows, interviews, etc while ovi does none. Laich talks about the team like he’s the heir apparent and i can see where that would make a large rift.

  6. fbothharbaughs - May 15, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    & there, Caps fans, is your captain.

    • polegojim - May 15, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Ovi is not officially… an alienator… just when we thought quitting was his worst trait.

  7. daveothebraveo85 - May 15, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    This is all just the same old, typical BS that happens and that you hear about when teams who were expected to have a great chance at winning, lose. You think any of the teams that bowed out in the first round like Boston and Pittsburgh are all thrilled with eachother? I do find it upsetting though that some would question Ovechkin’s ability to wear the C and perform the duties of a captain and why some would question his worthiness of it. Those of us who’ve followed the caps since we were in diapers will tell you that OV has done more for this team, and some could argue for the entire league, than nearly any other player in caps history aside from Bondra and the greats of old. Not only has he routinely, since the moment he became a capital, displayed fierce determination, work ethic and a willingness to fearlessly put his body on the line, but his pure skill and talent and his loyalty to washington, even BEFORE his HUGE contract is reason enough to give him the C. Some might remember OV consistently discussing a singular desire to turn Washington into a hockey town. I haven’t seen anything lately to indicate him breaking away from that plan. Unlike nearly any other european player, more specifically, Russian born player, OV has totally broken the mold. In many opportunities in both this season and seasons past when he’s had opportunities to score himself, he’s passed the puck. He has never been one to shy away from hitting, whether legal hits or not, at least he’s doing it. When’s the last time you could name a true-blue super-star who relished taking the body, not just for the glory, but for his team? If memore serves me correctly, he learned from his game-play LAST season and trained like an animal to come into THIS season leaner and in better shape than he was when he was a rookie. 12 full pounds lighter I believe.. on a 6″+ solid muscular frame. Not easy to do if you’re a slouch.. I wouldn’t think that learning an entirely new Language, English, one of the hardest languages to learn, in less than a few years is easy either… so I’m not sure about the “lead by example” concerns. He visibly displays unbridled excitement when one of his teammates scores and he’s just as apt to block shots and hang back on D as he is to charge the net. Furthermore, if you’ve somehow missed seeing him pump up his teammates before and during the games than you simply aren’t paying attention. Unselfish acts, that’s what it’s all about and he performs as many of them as the next guy. In addition, not ONE person, including myself, has ever had a bad thing to say about the guy after meeting him off the ice. Wish I could say the same for every Cap I’ve met. As expected, his scoring has gone down over the last few seasons but anyone who knows sports at all, let alone Hockey, would tell you that such is expected when you are double and triple teamed every time you step on the ice and when Teams have now had years to study game tape of just YOU. Sure you can name individual instances where he’s strayed from the path or made stupid mistakes, but you’re not talking about a seasoned, mature adult like a Nick Lidstrom. Say what you will about OV, but personally….. personally… I think he deserves every stitch of that C.

    • stakex - May 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Sweet wall of text……

      You know, I might write an awful lot some times… but at least I use paragraphs. Its a real pain in the ass to read a giant block of text.

      • daveothebraveo85 - May 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        then don’t read it.

    • fbothharbaughs - May 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Except for the fact that he can’t find his own end w/a map…

    • jpelle82 - May 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      all off season they were talking about how fat he was…not how he trained like an “animal”. so no your memory does not serve you well

  8. pone27 - May 15, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Whoever becomes their new coach MUST take the C away from Ovi, and just let him be the elite sniper he is.

    Being a Hawks fan, and seeing how he portrays himself and the way he plays, the player I think the Caps should definitely consider is Brouwer. Has won a cup, and the guy gives it all he has every night.

  9. t16rich - May 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Sooo, did Ovi just throw all leaders except himself under the bus? Classy.

  10. govtminion - May 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I’m willing to chalk the wording up to the language barrier- ‘jealous’ may not be what he meant.

    …that said, every time I turned on the TV or radio lately it’s been Brooks Laich doing the interviews. Again, language barrier rears its head- Ovechkin might not be like doing interviews as a result of not having great English. But if Laich is the public face of the locker room and the guy firing the team up inside the room… why isn’t he captain?

    I don’t know that it’s so much ‘strip Ovechkin of the captainship’, but certainly asking him if he’d be interested in stepping down and handing it to Laich is worth considering. If nothing else, it frees him up to go back to doing what he does best- playing hockey- rather than focusing on his teammates so much.

  11. somekat - May 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    This whole “Stripping the C”, just doesn’t happen. If he happens, he is probably gone soon after, if not at the same time. If someone could name the last superstar to be stripped of the C, and stay with that team, I would be interested to hear it (again, because it doesn’t happen). Generally, the only time you see a guy lose the C is when there is a young guy in the waiting for it, and they were just “keeping it warm” for them (for example, Eric Dejardins was the captain of the Flyers for 2 years before passing it off to Richards). But superstars, especially young superstars, do not have the C taken away from them and stay on that team. It just doesn’t happen

    • govtminion - May 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      Not often, no, but it did wonders for Mike Modano. I’d call it less-successful with Patrick Marleau, but both remained with their teams for many years after the ‘C’ was taken off their uniform. If Ovechkin is willing to put ego aside for the cause, he could do the same. If not… well, that sucks, but a $9 million-a-year guy scoring 30 goals might be worth sending away anyway then.

  12. crp63 - May 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Honestly,and this is coming from a franchise inception Caps fan,it’s time for him to go.He was an elite scorer,but is not any longer,he’s a horrible two-way player,and his overall attitude sucks.Are you really going to pay a guy that kinda cash to be a one dimensional goal scorer?.If your intent on becoming a grinder team,you can get 3 or 4 solid guys for the same total price your paying him.I do believe Ovi has become hockey’s Randy Moss.This would be a perfect time to axe Mcphee as well since he can’t/won’t ever hire a experienced NHL coach

    • maria716 - May 15, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Ok, so if he’s such a horrible two-way player, his attitude sucks and he is making way too much to be a one-dimensional player how the hell do you expect the Caps to get rid of him? What team is going to pay $9mil/year for a piece of crap like you described?

      • ravenscaps48 - May 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM

        A team that wants to sell some merchandise

  13. yournuts - May 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Alex should be traded to the Sharks. We would covet him in San Jose. He is right on. He gets all the attention, I would love to see him on the same line as Joe Thorton.

    • maria716 - May 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Ok, so you want to do this deal…where would your Sharks come up with the cap space? Who would you be willing to give up? Couture, Marleau, Pavelski, Boyle? I don’t think the Caps would just be looking for a salary dump. To get Ovechkin the Sharks would have to give up some big pieces of their current team to get him. I don’t see how that helps position them for a Cup run next season.

  14. sabatimus - May 15, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I have no idea whatsoever what Ovi just said. But maybe it translates to “Shanny shoulda suspended me for the rest of the playoffs”.

  15. crazemastercraze - May 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    this is coming from a guy who in game 7 of the rangers series stopped skating and watched play on the ice like a spectator every time the puck wasn’t on his stick.

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