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Some Tough Love For Ted Leonsis

Here with a guest post is our Redskins-Giants Predictions winner JDP.

Ted Leonsis is either fraudulent or incompetent.

His constant “be patient” mantra to fans and media on the Capitals’ lack of postseason success is getting old. Ted loves pumping his own tires and telling everyone how great the Caps are. He loves promoting the image that the Caps are great because they are built from within through their strong AHL affiliate. But that is a joke.

The team is dwelling in mediocrity. And they are mediocre because they were built that way. Ted continues to tell everyone to be patient though. It’s been six years — time to show up or shut up. In any other “hockey city” (Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh) that would not stand.* The Stanley Cup window is closing and he does nothing to remedy the problem because he is making money.

* You could say, “Oh, well this isn’t really a hockey city. You should be happy with what you get.” No! Leonsis specifically markets Washington as “America’s Hockey Capital.” We are a glorified San Jose.

Leonsis is a businessman first and foremost. And that is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t want to own a team that is constantly losing money. But hold this guy to the same accountability that Dan Snyder is slammed with.** Leonsis won’t risk anything until the team loses money.

** I am not a Dan Snyder fan. Please let this be clear.

His lack of risk with the Capitals can be traced to his refusal or inability to part with GM George McPhee. McPhee has outlived his expiration date. Congrats on getting the first overall pick and not screwing it up. That was a really tough one. The Ovechkin era is going to be for naught if the team continues to be built the way it has been. The team is soft and lazy. This is the same story every year now. Lulls in goal scoring lead to an identity crisis. But nothing has changed.

A commenter on Capitals Insider put it well:

Ted thinks the fans who complain are impatient idiots. Well, for several years we have pointed out ad nauseum no 2C, no 1 defensive defenseman, the coach was clueless and the GM was almost as bad. Many posters here have decried the lack of toughness and grit, the lack of team cohesiveness and the unwillingness of the players to stick up for each other.”

We hear the same criticisms of the composition of this team every year, yet no changes.

It’s funny how Boudreau got the ax for the failings of a McPhee-built team. Boudreau didn’t cause the lackluster hockey on the ice. The “country club” atmosphere was as much a result of McPhee’s coddling as anything else. I am sure if you asked around the league you would find front offices mocking McPhee.

If Leonsis wants to run a serious hockey team he needs to let McPhee go. Boswell put it best when he said, “When you fire your coach, that’s a failure.” The Caps have been failing for too long. It’s time to try a new approach, which means a new architect.

I’d also like to criticize Leonsis on the Wizards, but since nobody really cares about them I’m going to keep this short. The same criticisms of Leonsis for keeping McPhee can be applied for Ernie Grunfeld, maybe worse though. Leonsis had a real opportunity to clean house when he bought the team, but he kept the GM who had put them in the hole they were in. I get that the Arenas extension wasn’t entirely his fault because Pollin was in love with Agent Zero. And to be fair, Arenas was awesome. I loved him, but come on man. Hindsight is 20/20, but that contract was bad at the outset.

Leonsis really has me ticked off with the comments he made at media day. I recommend reading the whole thing due to how blatantly he is lying to the media. Also, the fact that nobody called him on it. Leonsis at one point called Javale McGee “erudite.” This had been made fun of enough, but (and this gets back to Grunfeld being an idiot) the Wizards are going to extend this guy. Yes, he is freakishly athletic and yes, he makes highlight-reel plays. But anyone who has watched him play a full game instead of just the highlights knows he is a disaster. The Wizards are going to sign him to some mega-extension. The lockout has done nothing to stop this overpayment. I am depressed. Please don’t do this Wizards, please.

Leonsis also said the Wizards are a top-two or -three team in new-ticket sales. Jesus Christ, how did nobody call him out on this bullshit? Oh yeah, the fan base is super-energized by a 23-win season. Again, I’m depressed.

Finally, Leonsis is dishonest about the philosophy for the team. Or rather, I hope he is. Leonsis is trying to “build” the team with young players, not overpay for aging free agents. The problem is the Wizards aren’t going to luck into another John Wall again. And the Wizards had a prime chance to do some movement with the amnesty clause of the new CBA. Bill Simmons proposed amnestying Rashard Lewis and making a run at Wilson Chandler and Aaron Afflalo. That team makes a lot more sense than the current composition. And it still maintains youth.

But no, Leonsis builds through the draft and sits on who he has. This “Destination D.C.” crap that he keeps spewing is not going to come true. Players go where the money is. Leonsis is dishonest because of his failed experiments through the years. Yi Jianlian. Josh Howard. Mike Miller. Randy Foye. These guys don’t scream youth or building a core to me.

Leonsis is always praising these guys, though. Beyond the “erudite” McGee he has lately been praising the new maturity of Andray Blatche. The only way this season can be redeemed is if Andray Blatche follows through on his promise. This team is garbage and Leonsis knows it. “I’m more concerned with process right now than output, though we’re here to win,” he said. Well, get ready for a season without output and wins.

Seriously, what does it take to lose your job under Leonsis if you’re a GM or a player? This is a semi-serious question. He has never blown up a team, he has never traded a star (the Arenas move doesn’t count), he has never fired a GM. If Leonsis ran the Redskins we’d still have Vinny running the show. At least we’d still have Jason Campbell though.

Everyone is always genuflecting before Leonsis for giving this town a taste of winning. But this is the guy that can’t take criticism. It can’t be summarized better than his attempt to choke slam a Caps fan who brought a mean sign to a game. Oh wait, you forgot about that episode? Seriously, Leonsis attacked a fan of his own team! That is in the pantheon of crazy owner moves! Even Dan Snyder only had his workers go try to confiscate signs.***

*** Again, I am not a Dan Snyder fan. This is not defending him. I’m sure he has done other mean things to fans like suing them and such.

Leonsis is always praised for his openness, especially on his blog. But the blog is just another sign of his arrogance. The blog is the most self-serving thing of all time. His game recaps show how little he knows. He never lets an opportunity to gloat pass by while always pleading with fans to remain patient. Also, the way he subjectively chooses to link only positive articles to reinforce his “organizational methods and philosophies” about his teams fools no one.

One of my friends, a season ticket-holder, emailed him an article from On Frozen Blog that offered some criticism. I’m pretty sure it was this article. Leonsis responded but dismissed the article, saying, “I know the writer well, he is a one-note guy.” Oh, tell us what you really think, Ted! Yeah, that’s the type of media-friendly owner that you know and love. Leonsis is only friendly when you’re kissing his feet.

Ted isn’t all bad. He is engaging with media and fans. He’s not Donald Sterling. He seems to be a decent human being. But his arrogance and incompetence is ignored. It’s always the coach’s fault, or the talent not coming through, or some other excuse. Leonsis deserves his share of the blame. I’m sure he will take this criticism well.

(Ted Leonsis portrait taken with love from Sam Hurd Photography Getty).

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.



  1. Unsilent Majority

    December 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Doesn’t Sam Hurd make enough money slingin’ coke and weed? Now he’s in the photo business as well?

  2. Sam Hurd

    December 20, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Hey there…. I do appreciate the link back, however I have to request this photo be removed. It’s not licensed for use here and is not freely available.

    Feel free to contact me directly for details

  3. Jamie Mottram

    December 20, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Okay, I’ll use another.

  4. Fushezzi

    December 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    If Leonsis is to blame for anything, it is for babying Ovechkin too much. Ovi doesn’t care and it shows. You can see it in the games. He gets frustrated now that teams have caught on to his cherry picking act. You can see it in practice. Both times I’ve gone to Kettler he’s easily the most lackadasical on the ice. And that’s the Captain? Until someone lights a fire under Ovi’s ass he’ll continue to go thru the motions – taking what is given to him instead of taking what he wants. And that’s why the Ovechkin era is going to be for naught.

  5. SethB

    December 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Using quotes from Capitals Insider and linking to OFB immediately and irrefutably destroys any and all credibility of this post.

  6. AbbaDabba

    December 20, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Ted cares more about the 41 home regular season dates than he does the playoffs or anything else. Rock the red, unleash the fury, build the brand. It’s an entertainment operation, nothing more, nothing less.

  7. Howdy

    December 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Ted’s always been thin-skinned, ask anyone who used to e-mail him back during the pre-lockout “Five-Year Plan.” Anything remotely critical or questioning of the team’s direction was met with dismissal at best, if not outright condescension. Not to say there were never cordial or informative responses, but if only he thought you were toeing the company line. “We know what we’re doing.” Really Ted? How’d Jason Doig and Joel Kwiatkowski work out?

    Same GM back then, of course.

  8. SkinsaneAsylum

    December 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    I think Bruce had the right idea about trying to have a locker room where everyone is held accountable, the problem was that this came 3 years too late. You cannot have a laid back, “player friendly” locker room and then flip a switch to the hardline philosphy…we saw the results of such an attempt and it cost BB his job.

    GMGM is an excellent GM IMHO. He fleeces people in trades (see Varly to Colorado for most recent example)and seems to add quality depth when needed. I would argue that the Caps this year have the deepest, most talented roster in the League.

    I think the fact that the Caps have not reached the level they had hoped to reach by now is more of a reflection on the players. It is a generally young team with a few veteran exceptions. This team was immature the last two years and it showed in the playoffs. This year has just been wildly unpredictable due to the multiple changes in philosphy at the end of BBs tenure, now a new system with Huntsy. I suspect things will shake out soon and play will become more consistent, but until OV takes the leadership role seriously both on AND off the ice, it will be difficult for this team to take the next step.

  9. Bradford

    December 20, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    “Seriously, what does it take to lose your job under Leonsis if you’re a GM or a player? This is a semi-serious question. He has never blown up a team, he has never traded a star (the Arenas move doesn’t count)…”

    I’ll agree that Leonsis has never fired a GM, but saying this is crazy. Leonsis and McPhee blew up the 03-04 Capitals, trading away such luminary names as Peter Bondra, Jaromir Jagr, Sergei Gonchar, and Robert Lang (who was, at the time he was traded, the leading scorer in the NHL). Leonsis didn’t negotiate the trades, but he did authorize George McPhee to make them.

    By the way, the result of those trades? Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann, Shaone Morrisonn, and the draft picks used to select Mike Green and Jeff Schultz, all of whom were solid contributors to the best regular season in Capitals’ history and the deepest postseason run of any DC team in the past 10 years.

  10. Swine

    December 20, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    The valid criticisms about Ted’s arguably excessive patience with his team’s leadership and his reaction to critiques are lost in the generally reactionary and short-sighted nature of this post.

  11. JW

    December 20, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Ted’s “openness” blog is now no longer accepting comments to his posts; yet, he sees fit to call out other bloggers for the number of comments they get.

  12. Jamie Mottram

    December 20, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Bradford (comment No. 9) makes a good point about the ’03-04 Caps. I should’ve caught that in edit.

    And thanks for all the feedback, everyone. Keep it comin’.

  13. @mathewbrown

    December 20, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Rashard Lewis staying on the team with amnesty staring him in the face was a huge let down, but necessary to stay above the new CBA’s salary floor. A better GM could have been prepared for this, but it’s hard to criticize Ernie for not knowing the new rules he’d be playing under.

  14. Krem

    December 20, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    I actually like the direction of the Wizards and don’t think it’s that big of a deal that they didn’t amnesty Rashard Lewis and then immediately spend that freed-up money. I’m find with building around John Wall and seeing what happens this season with guys like McGee, Blatche, and some of the young players and rookies.

  15. JDP

    December 20, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    How does linking to OFB remove credibility? Am I missing something? Are you a RMNB troll? ’03-’04 Caps note is true.

  16. JDP

    December 20, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    @mathewbrown It’s true he didn’t know that amnestying a player would be available. But once it did why not use it? I don’t think Rashard is in this team’s long term future and I sure hope that Blatche isn’t either. Why not amnesty Rashard and use that money that could help long/longer term?

  17. @mathewbrown

    December 20, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    @JDP (Comment 16): The CBA has a salary floor for teams’ total payroll that rose to $49M from $45M. Amnesty on Lewis would have put the Wiz below that floor for 2011-12 without any free agents available worth spending it on. Forcing them to do one of two things: pay a player inferior to Lewis a contract that is close to his in value, or pay the difference to players already under contract. Both of those options are terrible business, so the Wiz kept him.

    You don’t seem to have a firm grasp on the payroll side of NBA teams’ rosters. Maybe move out of your glass house before you hurl stones at Leonsis?

  18. JDP

    December 20, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    @mathewbrown The Wizards could have paid more than one player the amount of Lewis’ contract. I agree there isn’t a player that was a FA that was worth $16million a year. But could we have gotten two? Yes.

    I like that Ted’s army has come out in full force to attack me.

  19. Matt Lilly

    December 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    @mathewbrown and JDP

    Amnesty salaries still count towards the salary floor. But we still have the amnesty, so I think it was a good move to wait and maybe use it next year. There wasn’t anyone worth spending money on.

    I really disagree with Bill Simmons on the Wizards this offseason. A Wall, Afflalo, Chandler core is not going to be a championship contendor. The idea is to suck, hit on draft picks, and let them develop. I’m buying into it and it looks good so far for the Wiz IMO.

  20. @mathewbrown

    December 20, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    @Matt Lilly (19):

    That article says otherwise.

    “Some teams are so far above the cap that removing one player will not provide room to sign free agents. A few teams have such low payrolls that they would dip below the minimum-payroll requirements. At least 10 teams have no obvious candidates for amnesty.”

  21. Jim Ed

    December 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    While I’m no fan of Ernie Grunfeld, if you think Aron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler were going to make the Wiz contenders, you’re smoking crack. Seriously, I can’t even imagine how handcuffed this team would be with Afflalo getting 5/45 from the Wiz. And the Foye/Miller move was a last gasp at salvaging a contender out of the Big 3. It was a riverboat gambler move, and no one in their right mind thought Rubio would be available at 5.

    This is a 66 game schedule, and as far as I can tell, it serves one purpose for the Wizards: To see if they have anything worth keeping between Blatche, NY, McGee, and Crawford. I’d imagine only 2 of 4 at most would be back next season unless they miraculously click and catch on fire. This is how rebuilding works. This comes off kind of like a Jason Reid anti-Shanahan screed.

    As far as the Caps are concerned… I live and die with DC sports, but a little part of me way deep down inside my spleen sparkles with delight at watching the Capitals flail like a landed tuna every post season. While I’d love to see them stick it to Crosby and Pittsburgh, the johnny come lately, m3 driving, pink hat wearing, Arlington Yuppies that seem to constitute a large chunk of the new season ticket base have completely soured me on the Caps. Hey, you like the Caps? Thats awesome. So why don’t you come watch the Wiz play so I’m not sitting in a mausoleum with 8,000 others? On the other hand, a lot of my friends fit this profile and got their Caps tix through the combo pack with Wizards tickets, and they pawned them off on me for pennies on the dollar, which was nice.

    /slow work day
    //putting in two weeks notice at end of week, so not like it matters.

  22. JDP

    December 20, 2011 at 4:08 PM


    Embarrassed that I am being mentioned in same breath as Jason Reid. I like what Shanahan/Bruce have been doing with the Skins. I think the attitude difference is just that the Caps were what seemed like on the verge of a championship. Now? Not so much. Maybe its growing pains but I think it’s something deeper.

    As for the Wizards, NY is not coming back, he just isn’t. Not with this one year contract. He’s going to be playing for his next one. As for McGee and Blatche, that’s sort of my point of my criticism. It’s been the “patience” mantra for awhile now. I think we know what we have in McGee, a supremely talented and athletic big man providing a unique skill set but lacking maturity and focus. Is he suddenly going to change this year? I hope so but I think thats really wishful thinking. As for Blatche, he is scum and I want him gone.

    I like your Caps fan elitism though. “I was here first!” I mean, I get that. I don’t like the pink hats either. It’s like the Red Sox bandwagon. But then is there any situation where a new Caps fan would be welcome? Caps fans more than any other sport here (probably because they are the only successful one) shun newcomers. Just kind of silly.

  23. JDP

    December 20, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Also, I don’t think Afflalo/Chandler are going to make us into championship contenders. I think that they could get us into the playoffs now. East is weak. Might as well gun for it.

  24. HS

    December 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Jaime, how can you say Ted has taken no risks. In addition to blowing up the team in the face of a lockout in a city not exactly “Hockey Town”, he is probably the only owner of a professional hockey team to have signed two different players to the largest contracts in league history (Jagr and Ovi).

    Also, I really doubt other front offices are “mocking” GMGM. Partcularly those in Ottawa, Columbus, Colorado, etc who probably wish they hadn’t done deals with him. I also don’t believe GM spends much time in the locker room so any “country club” atmosphere came from elsewhere.

    Lots of good points here, just missed on a couple, IMO

  25. ZL

    December 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    5.SethB Says:
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:54 AM
    Using quotes from Capitals Insider and linking to OFB immediately and irrefutably destroys any and all credibility of this post.


    Oh really? So where do you get your Caps news from? Ted’s Take?

    OFB is one of the most credible sources for REAL Caps analysis. The main writer actually understands the sport of hockey and doesn’t sugarcoat the inherent problems that have plagued this organization for years, unlike most of the media outlets in the area that just perpetually help to “promote Ted’s brand” by putting a positive spin on everything.

    Maybe you are just overly sensitive and can’t handle the truth about our overrated hockey club.

  26. ThisGuy

    December 20, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Hooooo boy. That’s quite a venting session. This post has so many logical flaws and contradictions that my head is about to explode.

    And though I do think Ted is basically a jackass, I agree with SethB’s comment wholeheartedly.

  27. ZL

    December 20, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    SkinsaneAsylum Says:

    “I think the fact that the Caps have not reached the level they had hoped to reach by now is more of a reflection on the players. It is a generally young team with a few veteran exceptions. This team was immature the last two years and it showed in the playoffs.”

    So you kind of just contradicted yourself. If it’s the players’ faults, it’s the GM’s fault by extension. After all, McPhee is the one who drafted, traded for, and signed the players that ultimately make up this ridiculously mentally weak roster.

    You are right that it is a young team, but that’s not an excuse for failing to win. The Penguins and Blackhawks were built around a YOUNG core and won Cups.

    Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Staal all under 25 when they won. Toews, Kane, Keith and Seabrook all in their 20s. Even the Bruins had Lucic and Marchand who were 22.

    The Caps’ young core lacks leadership, and the veterans brought in (with the exception of Fedorov) haven’t made a strong impact. And for every Varly trade, there is a Joe Corvo trade to match.

    And if you honestly think the Caps have the “deepest and most talented roster in the league”, then you clearly don’t watch ANY hockey outside of Caps’ games. The Bruins, Pens, and Flyers run laps around the Caps in terms of organizational depth. Watch these teams play, and you will see how inadequate our roster truly is.

  28. Jim Ed

    December 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    @ JDP

    My apologies for accidentally omitting this initially, but I’m not really a hockey fan in general. I want the Caps to do well as they represent the city, but I didn’t grow up playing/watching hockey, so I don’t feel that attachment or affinity that I do to the other big 4 sports in the city. I think my loathing (and perhaps that of Caps fans as well) has more to do with the segment of the population that seems to make up a bulk of the new fans. I’m generalizing, for sure, but an awful lot of them seem to love out of town teams for other sports, but LOOOOOVE OVI!!!11!

    Is part of it bitterness? Sure, spending enough time in your own personal section at Nats Park or the VC for Wiz games will do that to you. But I’ve spent enough time in Clarendon bars to develop a bad taste in my mouth for people who “bleed red” but don’t watch the Wiz because the NBA is just too urban/ghetto/thugged out/other white person code for too black for their personal tastes. I wish the Caps well, but there’s some definite schadenfreudean delight mixed into their failures for me.

    As far as the Wizards are concerned. I’d prefer they not make big deals in hopes of getting the 7 or 8 seed in the east and being cannon fodder for the Heat or Celtics or whomever. This season will be painful, but at least it will be quick, and give us a real off season to work with heading into next year.

    This season, more than any since Abe died, needs the Wizznutz to make a triumphant return to raise the spirts of the fanbase.

  29. OnFrozenBlog

    December 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    “SethB Says:

    Using quotes from Capitals Insider and linking to OFB immediately and irrefutably destroys any and all credibility of this post.”

    How so?

    JDP and ZL, we owe you a beer to thank you for your support.

  30. Aaron

    December 21, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    I suggest you look into who is responsible for what in a hockey club and then look again at your criticisms.

    PS as you say you’re sure if you asked around you’d find NHL front offices are mocking George McPhee – then how about asking around and letting us know how that goes?

  31. Ron Wall

    December 21, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    A few things.

    Amnestying Rashard Lewis would be the worst thing to do. His deal basically expires after this year. After this season he’s eligible for a $10M buyout which saves you $12M OR next season when his contract is expiring it will be the biggest asset the Wiz have. They’ll be able to leverage it as the third team in a mega deal sign and trade for a superstar. WORST case scenario He plays two more years and after being in the lottery this year the Wiz enter the 2013 off season with a team of Wall, Vesely, McGee, Booker, Crawford, Singleton, Young? and insert college stud here AND $22 M to spend.

    Second- If the Wiz really want to make this Wall’s team and change the chemistry it makes more sense to amnesty Blatche. He is the ringleader of the knuckleheads and is under contract for far too long. The worst thing Ernie did, at Ted’s behest, was to extend him for going on a month long tear two years ago.

    You have to re-sign McGee you don’t let young 7 footers walk. Depending on where we finish this year which will be near the bottom of the league we’ll have the opportunity to draft a stud 2 guard to replace Nick Young if we’d like.

    Look at what Ernie has done since getting the Wall pick. Everyone mocks the Skins for not building through the draft and Ernie has acquired 6 FIRST ROUND PICKS IN TWO YEARS!!!

    Be patient.

  32. SethB

    December 21, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    @OnFrozenBlog While you do have some quality posts from time to time, most seem to be based more upon emotion and gut feelings rather than stats and reality. The Schultz loathing and Finley adoration is a perfect example of this.

  33. JDP

    December 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    So yup, SethB is a RMNB troll.

  34. BigNed

    December 21, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    I think I side with the “screed-like nature of the post covers up some valid points” crowd on this one. To whit:

    Ted Leonsis never wanted to buy the Caps. He had to buy the Caps to get the chance to buy the Wizards, remember? He came in guns blazin’ Fantasy Danny style and made GMGM sign Jagr to put points on the board and butts in the seats. After that failed brilliantly he focused his attention on the butts in the seat end and gave GMGM reign over the players pretty exclusively as far as I can tell.

    So he learned his first lesson: Ted don’t know players. But because Ted also didn’t know hockey coming into ownership, he has nothing to gauge GMGM’s performance against except previous Caps teams. Under GMGM and Boudreau the Caps far exceeded the vast majority of their prior regular seasons. The Bears won 3 of 5(?) Calder Cups. They’ve got talent that most experts agree is topnotch, unless the word superstar is only linked to salary, with young guys like Kuznetsov and Galiev waiting in the wings.

    (Side note: having lived in Kansas City for a time and seeing the Royals produce outstanding prospects year after year for bigger market teams to snag in free agency right when they peaked makes me very grateful that Ted puts the money down to keep good players.)

    So Ted’s had no flameout experience with GMGM that shows he’s the problem with the team. The two recent playoff series losses were hard to take, for sure, but they also were at the hands of teams who advanced far into the playoffs behind freakish goaltending, among other things. Still, I can see how someone still learning hockey like Ted is would reasonably believe that the whole organization is learning with him. No one on the team has won a cup except Kanoobs, technically, (why oh why isn’t Fedorov working with the team in some capacity?) so there is no one internal to say “I know how it’s done, follow me.” So he gives people breaks because they’ve never done it before just like he’s never done it before.

    In my opinion, the worst mistake Ted made was in conferring with GMGM and BB after the Montreal collapse and agreeing as a group that they were going to change their style to something the rest of the league said they needed to do to win the cup. GMGM had built a team designed to score like crazy and win 6-5, with goaltenders that could cut that back to 6-2 or 6-3 on any given night. BB’s coaching style matched the attitude of the players in that sort of system, which is by all appearances a very fun system in which to play. Suddenly, BB puts the brakes on to switch to the dump ‘n’ chase and the whole team got out of sorts. I’d have loved to see what might have happened with the wide open style of the President’s Cup Caps when the hot goalie in the playoffs was rocking the red.

    However, despite disagreeing with that move, what it shows me is that Ted and GMGM listened to their critics and in bringing in Dale MFing Hunter as coach they are taking steps to alter the structure of the team from one geared to win Calder Cups to one geared to win Stanley Cups. So the Ovechkin Era has had to take a hard left at Albuquerque halfway through and that’s got the fans steamed. Well, I get that, but it doesn’t mean Ted isn’t learning and getting better as an owner.

    Plus, those fill from the bottom beer dispensers are pretty sweet.

    I don’t follow basketball like I do hockey, but I think the same sort of process (except for directing Ernie to sign a particular player) will play out with the Wizards. Until Grunfeld proves conclusively that he can’t bring in a good coach or good players, Ted only has Wizards history to work with and let’s face it, that’s not hard to beat. For what it’s worth, I think that it’s too early to close the book on Blatche and McGee but not by much. You can’t wait forever for people to grow up.

    That being said, the Wizards have 6 “bigs” 25 and under (Blatche is the only 25 year old) that are still somewhat of a mystery. Keeping Lewis and picking up Turiaf finally give that group some veteran leadership. As much as I want Blatche to be a leader he came into the league at 18 and who has been their to mentor him really? If having a dedicated professional like Lewis on the team helps mold those guys into serious ballers, then he’s more than worth the money.

    Finally, there are three players still on the Wizards’ roster from 2009-2010. THREE – Blatche, Young, & McGee. HOW MUCH MORE BLOWN UP CAN A TEAM BE?

  35. CapsNut

    December 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    I argee with the overall point here that Ted is a master showman who loves to soak up the praise and adjulation but has very thin skin when it comes to any kind of criticism. I wouldn’t go as far as to call him incompetent or a fraud but if he were held to the same standard as Dan Snyder, Ted wouldn’t be nearly as loved and adored as he currently is.

    But as I’ve always said “Please load brain before shooting off mouth” and it certainly applies here. Ted only took over full control of the Wizards last season. That’s hardly enough time to gauge his stewardship of one of the worst run NBA franchises. And the turnaround of that franchise will not be done in one offseason alone let alone one where the CBA rules were changed.

    Furthermore, getting easily verified facts simply wrong (such as the Caps 2003-2004 firesale for starters), using as support for your screed here reprobates such at CI Commentators and the On Frozen Bozos (who are such keen hockey minds, they BAN FROM READING THEIR MISSIVES people who dare to question their hockey and general overall brillance to speak of people with thin skin…), and making asserations with little if any backing (Really, “I am sure if you asked round the league you would find front offices mocking McPhee.” You know this how??? How about the next time you are in the Press Box at the Phone Booth ask some of the professional scribes what they think about the On Frozen Bozos? It would be rather illuminating) completely undermines the valid points that you are trying to make here.

  36. Fauxrumors

    December 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    1) Great post!! Nice to see someone else has the ability to see through the bullshit the Caps are trying to peddle their fans.
    2) The window isn’t just closing its shut tight!

  37. Jim

    December 21, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Excellent POST! Leonsis is the biggest fraud in town but the media won’t go after him because he kisses their butts.

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