Alex Ovechkin
Washington Capitals GM says team isn't ready to trade Alex Ovechkin ... yet
Alex Ovechkin

Washington Capitals GM says team isn't ready to trade Alex Ovechkin ... yet

Published May. 30, 2017 2:27 p.m. ET

Despite yet another disappointing playoff run that fell short of the third round, it doesn't appears as though the Capitals are planning on trading their captain Alex Ovechkin. Washington general manager Brian MacLellan confirmed as much while speaking to the media Tuesday afternoon.

Though MacLellan also didn't completely rule out the possibility of an Ovechkin trade, either.

If ever there was a "maybe" heard around the hockey world, this would be it.

The 31-year-old Ovechkin is one of this generation's greatest goal scorers (he's third among active players with 558 career tallies) but the Russian's impressive career in Washington has been plagued by postseason disappointment. Since drafting Ovechkin first overall in 2004, the Capitals have yet to make it out of the second round of Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And this spring, after the Caps were eliminated by the Penguins in the second round for the second year in a row after winning the Presidents' Trophy as regular season champions, the Ovechkin trade rumors seemed inevitable.

Though MacLellan said on Tuesday that while "people are looking for a major solution to what we have going on ... I don't think it makes sense from an organizational point of view" to part ways with their captain:

In years past, even entertaining the thought of trading Ovechkin seemed like a silly idea. Having one of the game's most lethal offensive threats on your side is a luxury, and one you should make every effort to keep if you're trying to remain a top contender.

With that in mind, it no longer seems completely absurd to give thought to the idea if the right deal comes along. The Capitals are no longer trending upwards. They're going to lose some players to free agency and, in all likelihood, be a worse team as they shift to a younger core. But they should still remain competitive and give themselves a shot to contend, so they don't need to trade Ovechkin now.

But MacLellan's "maybe" could indicate that the door of a trade possibility has been cracked open a little bit, and that makes sense. Whether he plays out the rest of his career in Washington or somewhere else, the Capitals are already well on their way to planning for life after Ovi.


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