Despite coming up short of their targets in the past decade, the Washington Capitals are sticking with superstar Alex Ovechkin in their aim to win the Stanley Cup. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis made the declaration in a recent press conference and added they will try to improve the team in the next seasons and surround Ovechkin with top talent that can help him and the squad to the NHL title.
‘The consistency he's brought is really historic. He plays hard all the time,” Ted Leonsis told a news conference, ESPN reported. “We're in it together, and he knows we're committed. He can sense it and see it."
Leonsis also gave credit to general manager Brian MacLellan and head coach Barry Trotz for doing a good job last season when they made the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Since 2004, when it drafted Ovechkin as the first overall pick of the draft, Washington has made the playoffs seven out of 10 seasons. The Capitals have made the Conference Semifinals three times, in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Leonsis also owns the NBA Washington Wizards and recalled the experience while watching both teams during the last postseason of both leagues.
"We were a couple of minutes away from going to the [conference] finals, and I also was watching in the suite the Wizards playing in Atlanta," Leonsis said in the same article. "There was just this one minute when I said, 'Wow, we're going to the finals, and the Wizards are going to come home up 3-1,' and literally, like that, the Wizards lost and then the Caps had to go to Game 6."
The Capitals lost to the New York Rangers in seven games while the Wizards fell to the Atlanta Hawks in six games.
Ovechkin, 29, who is from Moscow, is a seven-time NHL All-Star and has 475 goals and 420 assists in his NHL career, making him one of the top players in the league.