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Leonsis admits he ‘was wrong’ about the Caps having no weaknesses

Apr 10, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

Ted Leonsis, Adam Oates AP

“Before the Capitals season started, I was quoted as saying I didn’t see any weakness in our lineup. While I knew some aspects of our team were stronger than others, I didn’t see anything that I believed was a specific weakness. Obviously I was wrong.”

That was Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, writing on his blog after his team was eliminated from playoff contention. Washington will miss the postseason for the first time since 2007, and Leonsis is promising to “conduct a comprehensive review of what transpired this year.”

Certainly, the jobs done by general manager George McPhee and head coach Adam Oates will be part of that review. And it doesn’t sound like staying the course is an option.

“When we have concluded our evaluation, we will make the necessary adjustments and articulate our reasoning and plan for improvement,” Leonsis wrote.

Player wise, the Caps have some big questions to answer as well. Down the middle, Mikhail Grabovski is a pending unrestricted free agent, while Brooks Laich is a potential compliance buyout. The blue line has been rightly targeted by critics, and the goaltending situation is as uncertain as ever, especially after the recent tension between Jaroslav Halak and Oates.

“I empathize with the frustration – and even anger – of our fans,” wrote Leonsis, “and I promise to work diligently as we analyze the season, evaluate our organization and pursue what we believe to be our best options.”

  1. ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    bets on how many wisecracks over that article title?

    • ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      article title…… headline*

      • 11111111111a22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        What am I missing. I’m confused now. Help.

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Ah! So close, ibie!

      • ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        I figured in response to the headline, we’d see a lot of “No sh**, Ted”s.

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        I know what you meant. It was your correcting the word ‘title’ for ‘headline’ that got that numbers guy (11111111….) confused.

        So close!

  2. bgrillz - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Shocking…the Capitals underachieved. Even though Ted proclaimed their greatness. Color me surprised…

  3. penvik - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    The Halak and Oates stuff is whatev. One of them is lying and the other isn’t. If it’s Oates, he HAS to go as a coach needs to be trustworthy. If it’s Halak well that’s a bit smaller of an issue.

    • govtminion - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Either way, one has to think this couldn’t have a good effect on any attempt by the Caps to re-sign Halak. Either they threw him under the bus because Oates is telling the truth, or airing his dirty laundry if he’s telling the truth. Either way, his services will be available this summer for other teams.

  4. miketoasty - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    You could say, their ship has… Capsized.

    • Meta - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:22 PM


    • ntvd7 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      **Slow Clap**

    • m1k3g - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      • miketoasty - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        Really the only thing that could have made my comment better.

  5. patthehockeyfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    “I didn’t see anything that I believed was a specific weakness. Obviously I was wrong.”

    Hindsight: 20 – 20

    One has to wonder how good an owner Ted is if he didn’t see problems at the outset of the season. Then again, he was speaking only of the team. Dumba$$ didn’t bother to look at his coach and GM.

    See ya’, Oates! Buh-bye, McPhee!

  6. jaguar0413 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    How about you start by not raising ticket prices again?

  7. Meta - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    At the very least, i would think McPhee’s gotta go right? I feel like the guy has had so many chances and nothing has panned out.

    • ntvd7 - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      It clearly hasn’t come together…

      Too pretty and not enough grit (Mike Green / I’m looking at you)

    • coltssteve - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      two words Ernie Grunfeld. Leonsis gave him the change to rebuild after establishing a .277 win percentage over four years. If Ted was a judge of tech talent in the 90s, then he is a buffoon at judging sports GMs in the 2000s.

  8. discountdoublecheck - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    I LOVE Halak and Oates. Soundtrack to my childhood.

  9. vbcaps - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    At least as a caps fan we have an owner willing to spend to the cap.

    If I lived closer and attended games more frequently, I would be mad about the increasing ticket prices for the product on the ice

  10. basedrum777 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Your superstar does one thing well. Woopdie DO!

  11. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    It is amazing that a player can be, quite arguably, the top goal scorer of his generation, yet be a liability to his team.

  12. jdvalk - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Their weakness is obvious, right off the top

  13. therealjr - Apr 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Laich hasn’t played since March 14 and had surgery. I don’t know how anyone thinks that will qualify him for a compliance buyout.

  14. coltssteve - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    The article should read season ticket holders finally revolted by not renewing and now Ted needs to figure out how over come a loss of revenue. The Caps extended their renewal deadline not once but twice. Obviously, numerous fans have decided to punt their tickets. This can be the only logical explanation as to why an owner who runs his team like an actual business with a real P&L would promise a complete overhaul of the team at the end of the year. Ted Leonsis killed the goose that laid the golden egg! Way to stick with McPhee too long!

  15. coltssteve - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    I would argue that the airing of dirty laundry with Halak and all of the trade problems with erat and neuvy really illustrate the likely reason Dale Hunter did not want this job. The caps are a team filled with the same player: ward, laich, chimera, brouwer, et al. Then you add players who shrink in big spots – Halak. I think Oates is trying to expose these guys for the namby pamby bunch of players they are. You know your team is crap when Joel Ward is one of your top scorers. Nothing personal against Joel Ward, but come on he is not a number two scorer on any stanley cup contender.

  16. phillyphannnn83 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:43 PM

    The Caps made the playoffs 7 straight years??? Color me surprised because they never seem to be anywhere close to being a contender.

  17. ovechcant - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Look I’ll bash this team as much as anyone but they have certainly been cup contenders over the last 7 years. They were a missed ovechkin breakaway for beating Pittsburgh when they won the cup. The team that was robbed by halak and a phantom goalie interference call was a contender. The problem with this team is their DNA. They aren’t a complimentary mix and what was once a talented set of young stars has turned into a shrinking set of violets. They have never learned the core value that wins cups. You have to play the same way night in and night out and you have to control the puck to win. The caps have as much talent as Boston or Pittsburgh but the players don’t have it in them to play the right way, so far three good coaches have or are about to fail. Time to blow it up. This tigers stripes can’t be changed

  18. websurferdude - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    You can me happy if first fire George McPhee, and second get rid of Ovi, Mike Green, Brooks Liegh, John Erkshine, and third get help on defense, second and third line centers keep everyone that is on the fourth line since they were the most consistent line next to the third line (Joel Ward, Ferh, Chameria, Carl Alzener, John Carlson, Troy Brower, Wilson).

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