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Posted at 01:46 PM ET, 09/14/2011

Ted Leonsis: Chemistry is Capitals’ ‘big unknown’

In his latest radio interview this week, Ted Leonsis joined ESPN 980’s Sports Reporters to talk about both the Wizards and Capitals.

Asked about the Wizards’ rebuilding process and the strategy of how and when to pursue free agents, Leonsis related to the changes the Capitals made this offseason, bringing in five new players. With the Capitals’ main training camp set to start on Saturday, Leonsis stressed that what remains to be seen is whether all the changes – widely considered positive on paper – translate to the ice and dressing room.

“What I’ve never liked doing is the making news in the offseason and thinking that you’ve improved,” Leonsis said. “I’m with the Caps right now, we were given great grades in the offseason for all of these signings and I’m sanguine about it because, who knows what the chemistry will be of the new players coming in. That will be the big unknown.

“How do the new players fit? How do they fit the system? How do they get along with the other guys?” Leonsis continued. “It’s a lot of work when you go out and bring in a free agent and I hope we’ve gotten better as an organization being able to embrace new players and we’re lucky in that our captain, in Ovechkin is such a welcoming kind of person. It’s not a team of cliques.”

Leonsis answered questions about Alexander Semin once again, and responded to the notion that the Russian winger may be growing more unpopular. (You can find more of Leonsis’ comments on Semin from this interview over on the D.C. Sports Bog as well.)

“I don’t understand why he’s an unpopular player,” Leonsis said. “Look at his stats from the playoffs. He didn’t have a bad playoffs; he had a very productive playoffs....I don’t know what his future holds. I’m hopeful that he comes in with focus like all of our players come in with focus.”

For full audio of the interview, click here.

By  |  01:46 PM ET, 09/14/2011

 
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