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Guest7752 Posted - 02/24/2012 : 07:37:56
The Caps have been making the playoffs since early to mid 80’s, and made the finals in late 90’s. They had their share of stars during this time, including Gartner, Langway, Ciccarelli, Jagr, Oates, Lang, etc… but never won anything though except Eastern Champs once, I believe.
In comes Ovechkin in 2004 and things started to look promising, expectations were raised. The team was built around Ovechkin, with focus on offence. They’ve been finishing first in their division for 4 or 5 years now, but that’s about it. We can say they’ve been underachieving, maybe we can even say Ovechkin’s been underachieving.
So, moving forward, they have had a terrible second half of the season, and Ovechkin’s been regressing for a couple of seasons now. They made the coaching change; they’ve improved defensively, but look at where they are now with the team built around Ovechkin.
As GM, would you trade to have more support for aging, slowing Ovechkin… or would you simply trade Ovechkin before his value dips even further and start the notorious rebuilding process?
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slozo Posted - 02/25/2012 : 04:05:41
I think the Caps have been lost without Mike Green. If that isn't a sign of value, I don't know what is!

Secondly, of course Ovechkin is a big part of it too . . . not the same player as the first 4, 5 years . . . so we shouldn't think of him in the same way either. He is a 30 goal guy now, but still brings strong physical play as well.

And Semin has never gone back to his former all-star pace, and looks like a lost puppy out there at times. Like, invisible. To me, he is a guy you trade, immediately, before his stock falls even more.

Backstrom - probably your best all around player, even better than Ovie at this point in his career. You build around him, Green gets healthy, trade guys like Semin, get another true second line centre . . . and you are back leading the division.

They are not very far away at all from a top team - just need Green back in the lineup (and Backstrom, he's injured now) and change a few spare parts, that's it.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Alex116 Posted - 02/24/2012 : 12:22:51
As a Canucks fan, though it's not possible, i'd prefer to face the Caps than at least 3/4 of the teams they'll prob have to face in the first round! IF, and this is a big IF, Backstrom comes back, they're a much better team, but i think they're still missing some serious pieces. I don't see them scaring a lot of teams unless they really get their %*# together and quick! This would include OV playing much better hockey than we've seen.

I agree with the thought that OV is pretty much untradeable. I would say completely, but Montreal did trade for Gomez? I think OV has it in him to return to his stellar form, but he needs to tweak his game a bit as teams have begun to figure him out. Think back to the days of Bure. Teams knew his weapons and he was still able to score a ton of goals. I often wonder if the big contract and his personal life (OV) is affecting his game? I think it must be to some degree.
Beans15 Posted - 02/24/2012 : 09:23:35
I think the Caps are a piece or two away from being amazing. Sure, Ovechkin has slipped the past few season but we all have seen what he can do. It's not like a player that talented simply falls off the map. Something is missing. The million dollar question is what is that??

Realistically, they are 2 points out of winning their division and getting a 3rd place seed. If they can find some kind of momentum in the final 20ish games of the season and make it into the playoff, look out. I know I would not want my team facing them in the first round.

nuxfan Posted - 02/24/2012 : 08:04:07
Ovechkin is the one guy in the NHL that I think might truly be untradable. He carries a cap hit of 9.5M, and a salary of 9M escalating to 10M in coming years, for the next decade - most teams cannot manage that sort of contract without dumping a bunch of pieces, and effectively deciding to rebuild around OV - which is risky in itself given what he's shown recently with WSH. He's only worth that monster salary if he's producing at a 3-years-ago clip, 50+ goals and 100+ points, every year.

Its the sort of move that could hurt a team for 15-20 years if it goes badly, and most GM's would probably not be willing to take that risk.

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