Ted Leonsis gave an hour-long talk on Wednesday at the National Press Club, and colleague Michael Lee over at Wizards Insider was kind enough to transcribe some of the owner’s comments.
Here are some excerpts:
On how he views these Capitals as a generational team with a 10 to 15 year window.
“Last year, the under-reported story of our team was how many young players joined our team, when the year before, we had the most points in the regular season and we changed things up. We probably took steps back because we brought in so many players.
“I’m sure young players will make our team this year. I do think, our young players that form our core, led by Alex Ovechkin. It’s their time now. They are not even in their prime.
“The team will make the playoffs, as I promised, 10 to 15 years in a row. There is a 10 to 15 year horizon. Woody Allen said, half of success in life is showing. Well, you’ve got to make the playoffs in order to compete for the Cup.”
On why he decided to keep Coach Bruce Boudreau around despite the Captals’ second-round playoff loss in a sweep by Tampa Bay:
“You can never make it in any business, on emotional decisions, right after something bad happens. We’re not happy that we don’t have playoff success. Analytically, the coach has a fantastic record. I think the best record in the NHL during the regular season during his tenure. That’s a pretty strong statement.
“At the same time, our team hasn’t gone deep enough into the playoffs. So we have to look, as franchise, as the protector of the asset, on would be better off as a franchise, changing a player, firing a coach? And its not an emotional reaction. It just can’t be done. Through the analytics, we thought, it’s better to keep the team and the franchise and the continuity together and see how we do this year. That’s how we came to that.”
Leonsis was also asked about Washington hosting the Winter Classic. He talked about how he joked on Comcast that he would host it at the Kastles stadium, but said he doesn't know when or where it would happen.
At the end of Leonsis’s talk, the National Press Club presented him with a mug. He joked, “Not exactly the cup I was expecting.”