November 25, 2007 -- MAYBE someone can provide one good reason for Alex Ovechkin to sign a new contract with the before becoming a restricted free agent on July 1, because we sure can't think of any.
Ovechkin, stuck in a hockey market in DC that's as irrelevant now as it was before the lockout and therefore denied a suitable stage to showcase his brilliance, isn't going to make more money by signing with the Caps than he would by inviting offer sheets this summer.
Even if owner Ted Leonsis tries to make him the NHL's highest-paid player by offering a max contract of $10.3 million per season, the value of a max contract - 20 percent of the cap - will rise this summer in direct proportion to the anticipated 7-to-10-percent cap increase for 2008-09.
Honestly, if Kevin Lowe believed Thomas Vanek to be worth four first-round draft picks last summer, any number of GMs with cap space to accommodate an annual hit of up to $10M per surely will feel the same way about the dynamic 22-year-old Ovechkin. He has registered 112 goals and 221 points in his first 184 NHL games.
Memo to Brian Burke and all those who would howl at the thought of rival teams "poaching" another club's marquee player: Ovechkin does not belong to the Caps.
Time is running out for GMGM... There's a hope with new Coach, Caps got two wins in a row, hopefully it will continue, but if the team won't make playoffs again and Ovechkin won't be locked with a new contract soon (and these two things are very correlated), we might see him in different uniform.
What Larry Brooks is saying is very arguable, but he basically repeats what a lot of fans on Caps forums and on Capitals Insider board are saying, Ovechkin doesn't belong to the Caps, let Ovechkin go to a better hockey place.
I see these comments all the time, everywhere... At first you think what kind of fans these people are? So brutal or so honest to themselfs?
Update: Here we go... I didn't have to wait long... :-)
Caps Forum: "I love AO and I don't want to lose him, but honestly he does deserve better than what he gets here in DC. We are a lousy team and organization right now and management is been reluctant to do much about it. Hiring Bruce seem to got us going for the past 2 games, but are we even close to being a team that can compete night in and night out. We have some huge holes here, most notably on defense. I love AO because of his superior skill but also because he is a competitor and plays so hard when he could just as easily cruise given his talent. He so competitive because he wants to win, and the Caps haven't shown they are willing to do what it takes to win."
This post has been edited by BreakOutInSong: Today, 09:08 AM
Obviously you would never see those comments about their players in Detroit, even when Red Wings were Dead Things, and then you kind of get used to it. I don't know, but the fact is that Larry Brooks states something very close to what Caps own fans are saying...
And it makes you wonder what Caps management is thinking? Do they agree?