This is part 5 of a 5-part series. For part 4, click here.
Reason #5: Shake it Up, Baby
Alex Ovechkin has been with the Washington Capitals for his entire NHL career. The Caps used to be pretty good, but they’re not anymore. They sit 11th in the Eastern Division, five points out of a playoff spot, behind perennial underachievers like the Islanders and the Hurricanes.
Washington GM George McPhee has tried three coaches lately and has unloaded other overpaid, underperforming players (hello, Alex Semin). They’ve juggled goaltenders and experimented with a snappy new variation on their normal dull uniform. What’s left?
Trade the captain, George – before his value tanks like your team’s future.
It’s a truism in pro sports that sometimes you need to shake up your team. Switch goalies, give the muckers some first-line minutes, dump the coach. Since the Capitals clearly need a jolt, and since it’s equally clear that Ovie’s best days are behind him, it would be a brave, farsighted move to shop the Great 8 around now – preferably before this week’s 2013 trading deadline, but if not, this summer – so as to get the most in exchange.
Ovie should bring the Caps a top-3 forward plus a couple of high draft picks – say first and second round. Played shrewdly, that forward and those picks will shore up Washington’s next 10 years in a way that paying the one-time Hart Trophy winner $10m per season to slide slowly into irrelevance will not.
Trade Ovie now.