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Ovechkin is glad he wasn’t fired, says ‘Everybody has to change’

Jun 23, 2014, 8:52 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin knows it was a rough summer for the organization.

Both coach Adam Oates and 17-year GM George McPhee were fired and replaced by Barry Trotz and Brian MacLellan. As he arrived in Las Vegas for the NHL Awards that take place on Tuesday night, he lightened the mood about the changes made as Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post shared.

“Thank God they don’t fire me yet,” he added, drawing laughs from the reporters around him. “I’m still here with the Capitals.”

Hey-oh! Ovechkin is in Vegas after all. As for working with Trotz, Ovechkin said he doesn’t know what the coach wants to do yet, but said it’ll be a chance for everyone to get on the same page. From Prewitt:

“I can tell you nothing, but we’re going to see how it goes into training camp,” Ovechkin said. “[Trotz is] going to explain to everybody. It’s not about just me. Everybody has to change. We’re going to be in that kind of position.”

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006, it’s safe to say just about everyone is on notice, even the captain of the team who scored 51 goals last season.

  1. Eutaw's Finest - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Que the “sucks at defense” and “lazy” and “+/- rating” comments…

    • radar8 - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Of course. Ovechkin is a great offensive player but his team will never win the cup with him being a one-way player. It really is that simple.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        1 player on a TEAM not being a 2-way player is not the difference in winning a cup. Every team has them, it just so happens that Ovechkin is the face of the franchise.

  2. AlexOvechkinMinus35 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    Alex thinks accountability is all a big joke…..and in Washington, he’s 100% correct!

    • lowenni - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      Your trolling is just stupid now, it doesn’t even bother me as a Caps fan it just makes me wonder how pathetic your life must be to sit there wasting your time writing these comments on every article about Ovi. You’re not a new account for fivetozeroingame5, are you? Miss that guy.

  3. lowenni - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    I think this change of identity will help the Caps. I think that Ovi will get along fine with Trotz as well, he’s willing to do what he has to do to help the team win. There was a lot of media driven friction between him and Hunter, but one thing people fail to mention is that Ovi did put up with his changed role when the team was winning in the playoffs. Ovi’s still the NHL’s best or second best goal scorer. The team has promising youngsters in Orlov, Schmidt, Wilson, Burakovsky, Kuznetsov, and Barber. Still have Nicky Backstrom, in my opinion the most underrated player in the NHL. It was a rough season but I’m not too beat up about the Caps future, I think it’s still bright and I really like what I’ve been hearing from the new GM Brian Maclennan.

    • c9castine - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      ovi is a good teammate and pro. hes a little goofy not always PC but who likes that? crosby makes me go to sleep in interviews sometimes.

      hes got bigger flaws than some of his counterparts but then again he doesnt have many counterparts because hes one of the best scorers in the league.

      caps will be fine but the GM needs to make the right changes and Trotz needs to instill his structure and experience into the team.

  4. ludacrish05 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    McPhee didn’t get fired! How do you get paid to say that. He didn’t resign at the end of his contract as GM, it was Oates who got fired.

  5. guitarhunterdude - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Trotz rarely had any high-end offensive talent in Nashville, but when he did, I seem to remember them producing well. I think he’ll keep Ovi and Co. racking up goals, while improving the team defense. Washington could be in for a fun year.

    • lowenni - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Totally agree. The guy knows what he’s doing, and he’ll finally instill a sense of structure and identity that the team has been lacking.

  6. blomfeld - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    OVECHKIN = LOYALTY

    Great article by Yerdon and great to hear that Alex the ‘great’ himself is staying the course ! This is not only a ‘win’ for the Washington Capitals, but more importantly it’s a ‘win’ for the NHL at large and hockey fans everywhere ! You know, I’ve recently done some thinking about this ‘plus/minus’ business and I’ve now come to the realization that it’s all a bunch of crap ! Yes sir ! Because when you think about it, what kind of an idiot cares about ‘retarded’ things like back-checking, helping fellow defense men, esprit de corps or even making the playoffs ? In the end, it turns out that this game is meant to be nothing more than a bunch of ‘razamanaz’ and nothing more !

    GO OVI !!!

    GO ‘BURNING’ HOCKEY STICKS !!!

    GO JERSEYS THAT ‘WON’T STAY TUCK’ YOUR BODY !!!

  7. kingsfan93 - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    I am a huge Ovechkin fan. I love what he can do offensively. But he has to play a two-way game that includes the other 100ft. of ice That to win games, the CAPTAIN, has to be the one to lead by example on & off the ice. So even if it means his offensive numbers are down a bit, oh well. But at-least your playing the game the right way.

  8. nyrnashty - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    He’s going to break Gretzky’s goals record, so I don’t think he’s worried about what anyone has to say about him.

  9. pj608 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    washington needs defenders that will actually play Defense. There is no reason all of the blame should be on Ovechkin. Yes hes russian blah blah blah but he is there to do what they brought him there for and if they got him to play defense then he would be on the blue line night in and night out for 25+. Hes there to score goals. Get some talented defenders around this guy and you will win more games. He shows he can be a play maker and pass the puck but when guys cant finish their shot he gets discouraged just like when his defenders think they are playing Wing and or Center. This equation is the same reason why holtby is a ‘streaky” goaltender. When he plays well, He is Phenomenal, and that is not due to any of the help from his defense-men. A goalie can win you games but he will not be able to do it every night. Goal-tending takes a toll on you and wears you out. Needs some help on the back end and Washington will be fine. With that i bet you would see Ovechkin make more attempts at defending nearby guys.

  10. pj608 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    and NO…. I am not a caps fan what so ever. I am Devils all the way…. just stating obvious points here that many look past. Because no one blames Crosby for goals scored against, its always fluery or someone else. Why not Blame your number 1 Center????

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