Considering his sub-par performance over the past few seasons, an Alexander Ovechkin trade would improve the Washington Capitals. With a 3-8-1 record, the Caps have the fewest points in the NHL and things have been spiraling out of control since this shortened season began. The Capitals need to make some sort of move to shake things up if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs this season. Trading Ovechkin would send a chilling message throughout the locker room and strengthen the Capitals roster. This would give the team a much needed wake-up call.
“Alexander the Great” has not been the superstar we have expected him to be since the 2009-10 season when he scored 50 goals and recorded 109 points. Since that season he’s failed to eclipse the 100-point mark. In the 2010-11 season, Ovechkin recorded 85 points, and last season recorded 65 points. His last season is absurd considering Ovechkin scored 65 goals in the 2007-08 campaign. His play has been steadily declining since the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
The thought of trading Ovechkin may sound crazy, but let me convince you why this move makes sense for the Capitals. They have many more issues than Ovechkin. A trade would help the Caps would the missing pieces that are hindering their team and become a stronger hockey club. Let’s examine why this move would improve their team.
The Caps’ biggest issue is their goaltending. They are probably regretting that they did not keep Tomas Vokoun. Washington has surrendered 41 goals, the second most goals given up by any team in the league this season. The Caps’ front office was banking on Braden Holtby to carry over his sensational play from the playoffs a year ago, and apply it to this season. Holtby has done anything but play well before recording a shutout against the Florida Panthers Friday night. To sum up the goaltending situation in the nation’s capital, the Caps have two AHL caliber goaltenders who aren’t playing at an NHL level. Ovechkin can score as many goals as he wants, but if the Caps don’t have at least average goaltending, they aren’t going anywhere.
If the Caps traded Ovechkin, this would guarantee a quality NHL goaltender in return who would vastly improve the Caps’ goaltending needs in the net. There is a long list of NHL net-minders who would be chosen ahead of the two goalies currently suiting up in Washington. Trading Ovechkin would give the Caps the luxury of choosing someone who can keep them in games on a nightly basis. This trade possibility would catch the attention of teams who have two competent goaltenders on their roster. The Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks are two teams that make sense, but surely all teams would listen if Ovechkin was on the trade block.
Do you know how much the Capitals would gain in return if they offered up Ovechkin? Not only would they be able to fulfill their goaltending needs, but they would also receive players full of diverse talent in that same package. Giving up Ovechkin would entice teams to give up three, four, or even five players in return. Trying to predict different players that teams would package up for Ovechkin is too difficult to predict, but there are unending possibilities.
At a minimum, the Caps would receive a 30-goal scorer and a quality goaltender in exchange for Ovechkin. Newly acquired players, and the loss of Ovechkin, would completely change the teams’ dynamic. At the moment, things can’t get any worse for the Caps. Many players have quoted different reasons as to why the Caps are losing. Obviously, their team has issues on and off the ice. An Ovechkin trade would give them an opportunity to get a fresh start on making a run towards the playoffs this season before it is too late.
Teams will definitely trade for “Alexander the Great.” There is no doubt about it. He still has all of the intangibles that made him the most electrifying forward in the NHL. Ovechkin used to be the only player who could take over a game all by himself. Since the 2010 season, that Ovechkin, who we were so accustomed to seeing, has disappeared. Many people believe the Ovechkin who used to annually register 100 points will soon return.
Ovechkin is allowed to have a down year. He is only human, but his numbers are continuing to decline. Before teams are convinced that Ovechkin is not going to return to his old form, the Caps need to trade him away while his stock is still high. Ovechkin is making $9 million a year. This is going up to $10 million when the 2014-15 season begins. No team is going to want someone for $10 million, who is barely scoring 30 goals, when they can pay two 20-goal scorers $5 million apiece.
Ovechkin has too much talent and scoring ability to underachieve. If this was an 82-game season, Ovechkin would be on a shameful pace of scoring 24 goals. Ovechkin is obviously not working hard enough to perform at the level we have become accustomed to seeing from him in the past. In a Caps’ uniform, I highly doubt we will ever see the old “Alexander the Great” who was routinely posting 50-goals or 100 point seasons. I wish he would return to that pace because he made the game more attractive and exciting for all of us to watch. He used to have so much fire inside of him and was unstoppable. The past few seasons, nothing can seem to jump start the two-time NHL MVP. Giving Ovechkin a change of scenery would boost his play and help the Capitals fill holes they have in their line-up. This is why trading Alexander Ovechkin makes sense, and would improve the Washington Capitals.
Justin Glock has covered the Pittsburgh Penguins for The Hockey Writers since 2011. As a lead writer, his Penguins knowledge traces back over two decades. For any requests, please feel free to contact Justin via email: JGlock10@gmail.com.