Washington Capitals: The Time To Win Is Now

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has been trying to put a Stanley Cup winner together ever since he bought them back in 1999. He is seen lots of players come and go. However, the Washington Capitals owner also realizes that he has yet to do what he needs to do: win at least one Stanley Cup with Alex Ovechkin

“I felt the window to win with (Ovechkin) was 10 years old,” Leonsis said. “He’s a fantastic player. I think all of you in this room, don’t take Alex Ovechkin for granted. I think that happens sometimes. You see him all the time and there’s this repetitiveness about his greatness.

“But when people from outside the organization come in, I think you heard that with Justin Williams, this is the best player in the league. He’s been that for the last 10 years. And the consistency that he has brought is really historical. – CSN Washington

 The Washington Capitals signed Justin Williams and traded for T.J. Oshie specifically because of this. They realize that Ovechkin will soon be turning 30. Elite goal scorers don’t stay elite for their entire careers. When the Washington Capitals drafted Ovechkin, he was viewed as a generational type of player who could win the Capitals a Stanley Cup. For better or for worse, Ovechkin tends to get blamed for the fact that the Caps haven’t won one yet. However, Leonsis defended his captain and his franchise’s leading goal scorer. 

“He doesn’t miss games. He plays hard all the time and I feel I haven’t met my commitment to him, that we would build a team that would be able to win Stanley Cups. That we’re in it together.

The Washington Capitals moves the past two years in free agency prove that Leonsis is starting to realize this. The Washington Capitals are usually not aggressive in free agency. The past two off-seasons, they shored up their blue line by signing Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen to long-term deals that they might regret five years from now and they shored up their forward group by swapping out grit for skill. In signing Williams and Oshie, they had to make two sacrifices by getting rid of Troy Brouwer and not re-signing Joel Ward. However, these are the kinds of moves that the Washington Capitals as Ted Leonsis tries to fulfill his commitment to Ovechkin by making him a champion.