Now, it's Mike Brophy over at The Hockey News opining on the matter of Alex Ovechkin and whether or not he should be moved.
Brophy frames his argument with a question...
But what if Ovechkin doesn’t want to play in Washington any longer? What if the young superstar tells the Caps he’d prefer to play someplace a little more cosmopolitan than Washington? You know, it could happen.
Uh, Mike? With the possible exception of New York City, there might not be a more "cosmopolitan" city in North America than Washington. If you want to make the argument that there might be more "hockey-centric" cities, be my guest. There are probably scores of them.
He dips his toe into the waters of a trade discussion by suggesting that, "Caps GM George McPhee should, at the very least, explore the possibility of trading the 22-year-old sniper." But that is something of a red herring. He gets right to the point soon...
Let’s face it, with Ovechkin in their lineup, the Capitals have shown no signs of being a playoff team. There are no guarantees re-signing Ovechkin will make the Capitals a successful franchise.
It always comes down to that...Washington. It isn't enough of a hockey locale to suit the likes of Brooks, Kulfan, and now Brophy. There is a fair amount of window dressing in the form of dredging up the Lindros-for-the-world trade between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Quebec Nordiques that led (so the argument goes) to Stanley Cups for Colorado (after their move out of Canada) and "squat" for the Flyers. And, if Wayne Gretzky could be traded, anyone could. But the argument seems to boil down in some manner, shape, or form to "Washington doesn't deserve Ovechkin." We won't mention too loudly that the Nordiques also had a guy named "Sakic" who came in a deal wholly separate from the Lindros caper (Caps fans will certainly remember the particulars), not to mention some goalie that came from Montreal..."Roy," I believe his name was.
Hey, here's a thought. Pittsburgh is sitting two games over .500...they have a goalie on the shelf who was playing rather inconsistently (not to mention hasn't won anything of note in the playoffs as a pro at any level), and have a rather pedestrian defense. Think they ought to be sending out feelers for Sidney Crosby?
Larry...Ted...Mike. The NHL is a 30-team league. It isn't just New York, Detroit, and Canada, much as the TV types would wish it so. There are the Carolina's, Tampa Bay's, Calgary's, and Edmonton's that can and do reach a Stanley Cup final from time to time...even Washington has done it. So, please, stop trying to move Alex Ovechkin. And maybe look past Ovechkin when assessing the prospects of the Capitals...a couple of Calder Cup final teams in the AHL that have graduated the likes of Mike Green and Jeff Schultz...the emergence of a Nicklas Backstrom...guys like Karl Alzner waiting in the wings to join young guys like Alexander Semin and Boyd Gordon. The prospects for this franchise might not be as bleak -- with an Alex Ovechkin -- as your opinion suggests.