'Welcome to the Capitals'
Following tonight's game in Raleigh, N.C., the NHL's focus will immediately be turned to Vancouver, where the who's who of the league will be in attendance on Thursday for the league's annual awards gala (some more travel for the Oilers and Hurricanes, no doubt).
One pairing that'll be in attendance for both the awards show and Saturday's entry draft will be the Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and superstar freshman Alex Ovechkin, something Leonsis addresses today in his periodic column on washingtoncaps.com:
By all accounts, the No. 4 pick this Saturday should yield an outstanding prospect – which gives us more talent in our system, or gives us value that George McPhee can leverage in trade.Generally speaking, the downside to being picked high in the draft is that you're going to a lousy team, one that either has ownership issues, financial problems — or both. For whoever goes No. 4 on Saturday, however, they'll be immediately welcomed by the 2006 rookie of the year and one of the best owners in the league.
Alex will be there in Vancouver to join me in welcoming those new draft picks to our organization. It’s an organization they can be proud of, for what we’ve accomplished in Hershey, the character and skill Alex and our Capitals team demonstrated in 2005-06 and what we have to look forward to in our best-in-class practice facility opening in Arlington in the fall.
Not a bad way to start out.