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Caps owner doesn’t think window of opportunity is closing

Sep 27, 2013, 10:41 AM EDT

Ted Leonsis Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin recently celebrated his 28th birthday, so he’s clearly not a youngster by NHL standards. He’s given the Capitals some great seasons and had some terrific talent around him, but Washington hasn’t gotten past the second round with him.

All the same, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis doesn’t think time is running out for this team to win a championship.

“Well, when our players are 36 years old I’ll probably feel that,” Leonsis said, according to CSN Washington. “But we still have a relatively young team and our core players are just now entering their prime. … I think the window is still wide open for us.”

It helps his argument that Ovechkin is one of the oldest members of his team’s core. Nicklas Backstrom won’t turn 26 until November, Mike Green is still a few weeks away from his 28th birthday, and goaltender Braden Holtby is just 24.

So even though the Capitals won the now defunct Southeast Division in five of their last six campaigns only to fall short in the playoffs, they aren’t in desperation mode yet.

“But this is an important year, obviously, for everybody,” Leonsis added. “We think we have a really, really good team and we want to qualify for the playoffs and we want to go deep in the playoffs and win a Cup.”

The Capitals have two preseason games remaining before the face the Chicago Blackhawks in their season opener on Tuesday.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Keep dreaming Crapitals…Welcome to the Metro division with REAL competition with Pittsburgh, Philly, NYR

    • ibieiniid - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      “so he’s clearly not a youngster by NHL standards.” true, but he’s closer a youngster than a senior. we got that freak of nature Selanne at 43. I don’t think OV has 15 more years left, but 10 isn’t inconceivable. they got plenty of miles on those tires still. whoever asked that question probably should go back to trolling the Caps on PHT comment sections….. pitpenguinsrulez, were you at that press conference?

      • ibieiniid - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        whether or not they’ll win a cup under him is a whole ‘nother debate. but no window is closing.

    • wirsindderclub87 - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Crapitals? What are you, six years old?

      Yea, because Pittsburgh have really been stellar in the postseason the past few years.

      • hazlydose - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        The penguins got to the ECF last year. The Capitals haven’t been there since 1998. What was your point again?

  2. jb8588 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Leonsis doesn’t have a clue, hence why McPhee is still the GM to this day even though he should of been long gone. The whole organization has practically been in denial throughout all of their playoff flops, so as long as that keeps up then nothing will change for the Caps.

    • dglelite - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Leonsis is loyal to a fault.

      Arguments could be made that both of the GM’s for the Wizards and Caps should have been replaced.

      Saying they are in denial is ridiculous though…every year that they exit early is a disappointment no doubt, but it isn’t like they keep the same team the following year and just simply try again…They adjust and make changes that they HOPE will produce a result (Stanley Cup). Salary cap limits the amount changes too.

  3. joey4id - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Leonis comes across as too complacent and accepting of the fact that the team has underachieved in the playoffs. Winning and accountability start at the top of every organization and trickles down. He should be putting pressure on his key management members and players because time is running out. Without throwing anyone under the bus he needs to publicly demand more for the sake of season ticket holders. If he truly believes time is not running out, then he’s only fooling himself. Players like Green and Backstrom are easier to find than OV. You build your team around your top player with the supporting cast. Not the other way around.

    • babykaby - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      You really know nothing about the Caps, and if you think players like Backstrom and Green are easy to find than you have proven you really know nothing about hockey. Go watch basketball.

      • joey4id - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:27 AM

        Where did I write players like Backstrom and Green are easy too find? I wrote E A S I E R to find than OV. Meanimg players with pure talent like OV are not common.

  4. bohman88 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    GMGM has to go, end of story. I’m not an expert, but I’m sure as hell not blind or stupid. I get paid miserably to perform a job I’d like to think I’m pretty good at. GMGM on the other hand is making a absurd amount of dollars and publicly displays his ignorance. Where did I go wrong?

    • babykaby - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      Just because McPhee doesn’t do what you think he should, doesn’t mean he is a bad gm.

  5. dglelite - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    The Caps are good team and will be again.

    This is going to be truly tough conference this year.
    Getting Detroit in the East isn’t helping things either.

    They are solid and will contend for a playoff spot.
    If they get into the playoffs, they have as good a chance as any.
    They will have scoring, decent defense and a top tier goaltender (not elite)

    This team has enough YOUNG talent from Ovi on down (with reinforcements on the way) to stay relevant for many years to come.

  6. canucks30 - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    It isn’t so much that Washington’s core is old…

    It’s that they fail to rise to the occasion come playoff time

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