Ted Leonsis did his annual "Owner's Corner" address with Washington Capitals writer Mike Vogel on Thursday, and one line that got a lot of people upset was when Leonsis said the Capitals are in a position that every team in the league wants to be in. This fired up a lot of people, most notably On Frozen Blog, who wrote this.
Most egregiously yesterday, Mr. Leonsis said this of his club's present standing: "There are 29 teams in the league that would trade positions with us."
Nothing could be further from the truth. To trade places with the Washington Capitals today would be to assume their burden of spring. Sadomasochists wouldn't take that on.
Without addressing any of the other points OFB raised, which were interesting and well-done, I have to call foul on this one. The truth is that Leonsis was completely taken out of context.
Listen to the video and fast forward to the 18:30 mark. Once you do, you realize Leonsis was talking exclusively about the Capitals' embarrassment of riches at the goalie position. Here's the full exchange, emphasis mine.
VOGEL: There were a lot of good things [that happened]. It was an eventful season for Capitals fans and for the Capitals organization. What are the things that you'll look back on, notwithstanding how it ended or anything, but stuff you'll look back on and retain and enjoy the memory of?
LEONSIS: First and foremost, staying with the plan and building around young players. We had a first-round pick in Johansson and everyone was saying he was a bad pick. But we believed in him and I think we found a really good player. That's a young man with great talent and great integrity, and he has great upside.
I think, going into the season, our goaltending was suspect. There are 29 teams in the league that would trade positions with us right now to have three, young, very very talented players, all affordable, all with their best days ahead of them. So I'm real happy with how well-stocked we are at the toughest position in the game.
Then, Leonsis talked about Karl Alzner and John Carlson. See. Pretty clear he was talking about the goalies, not the whole franchise. And given the success of Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, as well as the past success of Semyon Varlamov, he's kind of right, isn't he?