Latest Capitals and Senators Rumors – April 4, 2014.

Should the Capitals consider trading Alexander Ovechkin? Will they re-sign Mikhail Grabovski? Does Bobby Ryan have a future with the Senators?

Could the Capitals consider trading Alexander Ovechkin this summer?

Could the Capitals consider trading Alexander Ovechkin this summer?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wonders if Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis would consider parting ways with superstar Alexander Ovechkin. Despite Ovechkin’s offensive prowess, he has little commitment to defensive hockey. The Capitals could miss the playoffs this season, but Matheson notes when they do make the postseason they haven’t advanced beyond the second round with Ovechkin. He suggests the Capitals make some calls to see if anyone wants Ovechkin’s contract, though he acknowledges it would be difficult to move. 

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports contract talks between the Capitals and Mikhail Grabovski’s agent are expected to continue this week. Gary Greenstin, who represents Grabovski, remains unsure if his client will be re-signed or become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Greenstin also said it’s important for his client to play for a Stanley Cup contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Leonsis or Capitals management will consider such an extreme measure as trading Ovechkin, though it’s interesting to note that his modified no-trade clause (listing ten teams which he won’t accept being dealt to) goes into effect on July 1. His expensive contract, however, is almost as much a trade deterrent as his no-trade clause. Not that there wouldn’t be interest in Ovechkin if he hit the trade market, but there wouldn’t be many clubs able to absorb his contract, let alone paying the huge asking price the Capitals would surely seek.  As for Grabovski, his future with the Capitals could depend upon who’s sitting in the GM’s chair come June. There’s speculation GM George McPhee won’t receive a new contract. 

OTTAWA SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: reports Senators winger Bobby Ryan said he would be more than happy to discuss a contract extension. Ryan’s contract expires next July, which would make him eligible for UFA status. He said he enjoys playing in a hockey market like Ottawa. Ryan, a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has been linked to the Philadelphia Flyers in the past, but Ryan points out less than five percent of NHL players get to play for their hometown team. Though he’s skated with Flyers players in the off-season, Ryan said there’s never been any talks of him joining the club as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though Ryan’s performance was hampered by a season-ending sports hernia, Senators management is reportedly pleased with how he played this season. Though much will depend on Ryan’s asking price and how much Senators ownership is willing to spend, it wouldn’t surprise me if the two sides open contract talks this summer. 


  1. Many greats before Ovechkin have been traded, multiple times even, so as far fetched as it seems, EVERY player in the NHL can be traded!

    • Sound like that little black kid from Angels In The Outfield every impossible thing he comes up with ends with “It can happen,” lol sorry had to say it. Anything is possible but Ovie won’t be traded unless Washington enters a rebuild mode. Green and McPhee are the guys on their way out IMO. Ovie stays with a very bright offensive core for the future in Kuznestov and Burakovsky.

      • @Jes, funny. Ovechkin isn’t going anywhere, but to think a player of his magnitude can’t be or won’t be, is ridiculous. He’s a one dimensional player like Vanek, Gaborik, Richards etc but darn good offensively. Washington wont’ win the big prize any time soon and rebuilding isn’t needed.

    • Sometimes you have to make a move that takes you one step back to take two steps forward. LIke Columbus trading Nash and getting solid 2-way players like Anisimov and Dubinsky. Plus a 1st round pick. It makes the team better in the long run.

  2. First off, with all due respect Lyle, I think no matter who the GM of Washington is, Ted Leonsis makes all decisions on Ovechkin, and I would go further and suggest that Leonsis has gone to great lengths to have George McPhee keep him as happy as possible.If McPhee is not resigned I see him as a top contender for the Calgary GM job reunited with Brian Burke from their Vancouver days. Speaking of Vancouver, if Gillis is fired, I see Jay Feaster and Tortorella becoming a tandem again. Back to Ovechkin, while I know anyone can be traded, I do not see it happening. Contract, ego, and having to build a team around him…his arrival I believe would cause more disruption than it would be worth. An exception might be a team like Nashville that is strong defensively but needs flash and scoring up front, but they already have cap issues as a budget team so no go there. Hopefully Oates wears him down and is able to make everything work with and around him, or they secure players who are so strong defensively that Ovechkin can do what he does best and not worry about the defensive side of the game.

    • Sure hope you’re wrong about Feaster + Tortorella (at least in Vancouver). If Gillis is fired, the Canucks need to get rid of Tortorella too and have a fresh start at both management and coaching. There’s still a lot of talent on that team.

  3. I’m desperate – Kesler and Edler for OV

    • I don’t know if that would work, but you did hit upon the key to trading Ovechkin, or any huge star and their contract. It is desperation on the part of the buyers or Caps. The Caps aren’t desperate yet but I think they’d listen to offers (and probably laugh), but I don’t see any other team going all in to acquire Ovechkin because of his contract, not because of his talents or shortcomings (perceived or otherwise).

    • @Gored 1970, You’d have to throw in the Sedins too.

    • LOL common Gored you have to come up with something better then that. You are asking for one of the best offensive players in history who is still in his prime and your offering up a defenseman who’s stock has been dropping as of late and a 2 way forward who’s very injury prone and his best days are behind him? Horvat would definitely have to be part of the deal IMO. But ya nice try.

      • One of the best offensive players of all time Jes, please pass whatever it is you are smoking. he is very gifted but to give him that status is a bit out there yet

  4. I don’t see Ovie’s contract being any kind of theoretical deterrent for a team, only a logistical one. i.e. most teams would be happy to pay that salary, it’s just whether he can be squeezed in under the cap.

    With hockey being a business, any team getting Ovechkin would sell his salary’s worth of jerseys on Day 1 after he was traded for. Teams want to make profits, and Ovie virtually guarantees they would.

    It’s just about finding cap space & trade assets, but his contract, in and of itself, would be fine for most NHL teams.

    • How many Jerseys he sold would be dependent on where he landed. Philly, Detroit Toronto, Ny,, Montreal, Chicago etc, Yeah he will sell tons in these markets. .But if he ended up in Nashville, Carolina, Florida they’d be lucky to sell his jersey #8 in sales.

      • You are right NYR4LIFE, but I’ll bet those teams are on his list of 10 teams he can’t be traded to, so my guess the ones he would approve of being traded to are all big market teams and I also agree that if trade talks do open up, he might bolt for Russia. He was pretty pissed off during the lockout.

  5. No one is speculating on the chance that Ovechkin could head to the Russian league. They could easily absorb his salary demands, he wouldn’t be pressured to play defense, and it would eliminate the need to trade a hard salary to move. Plus, he’d probably make more as the main star giving the league respectability. McPhee’s a goner, and probably the coach too. Time for a rebuild. Having Ovechkin off the books would allow for that!

  6. I also believe Ovi won’t be dealt but if there was a time that it could happen, this offseason would be it. There are a number of teams unhappy with their lot (Toronto, Vancouver, Carolina, Edmonton, Washington) who may be looking to make a few big moves to shake things up. Combine that with some increased flexability because of the increase in the cap and we could see some interesting movement this summer. I agree that it wouldn’t make sense for a lot of teams but I certainly don’t think it’s impossible.

  7. Trading OV reminds me of the Lindros deal between Ottawa and Philly. The haul Ottawa got for him made it a one-sided deal. I can see the same thing happening IF Washington ever decides to let him go.

    • Lindros came from Quebec Nordiques.

      • I could see Ovi being dealt to a team like the NYI and to make it work you trade one or two players in the package to the Caps that would clear 5M or so. That off-sets a big portion of his cap number, then the rest with picks and prospects. The Islanders need to do something to show some long term commitment to John Tavares. First thing is get Ovi and the second thing is give him zero leadership responsibilities. He is not a captain and never should have been named one. That is Tavares’ team and Ovi should be shown that right away. They are also moving into the Barclays Center. That trade would put some butts in seats. Maybe even increase some season ticket packages. I only see a few untouchables for the Islanders obviously Tavares. But then Okposo, Hamonic, and Reinhart (sp). I would trade Strome as part of the package. Obviously more would be going back than just him.

    • Like NYR has said Lindros came from the Nordiques. Common Robbie!!!

      But no they won’t get fleeced by any team IMO. They know what they have in him and they won’t let him go for crumbs.

      • Gretzyky Nash Gaborik Roy etc. anyone can be traded.Do I think Ovi will be traded? Not likely, but I wouldnt be surprised if he did and as someone else mentioned it could be better for the Caps and Ovi both in the long run.

  8. i’d rather have Gillis than McPhee and i’d take almost anyone over Gillis. Gillis’s biggest problem is he seems to think he’s smarter than everyone else but he keeps outsmarting himself, it’s gotten so bad that i think Vancouver has call blocked Tallon. there’s a story that came up about when Gretzky almost became a Canuck that Gretzky himself has confirmed. his agents were negotiating with McPhee while team owner John McCaw and Gretzky chatted for quite an extended period of time before parting for the evening both convinced Gretzky would be a Canuck by morning, a deal was struck at 2 am with McPhee insisting the deal was only on the table for an hour, Gretzky gave his word he would sign in the morning but that wasn’t good enough for McPhee ( who later claimed that the negotiations were just leverage for his eventual contract with the Rangers) who pulled the deal off the table and Gretzky signed with the Rangers. it’s hard to believe that such a mistake was made as the Canucks at that time were probably the deepest team in the league at wing with Bure, Mogilny, Linden, Gelinas, and Courtnall but absolutely no one at center, with that group Gretzky could’ve shattered his own records and Vancouver would’ve been a favorite going into the playoffs. when asked how serious he was about signing with the Canucks Gretzky said they were already checking out schools for their kids.

    • No way was Gretzky shattering his own records in the mid-90’s. No matter where he played, or who he played with.The game had just changed too much at that point.

  9. i almost forgot also with that Canuck team was a young Marcus Naslund.