Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/26/14 at 05:49 PM ET
from Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post,
Ted Leonsis is finally doing something besides blog. Up to now, the owner of two of the four major pro sports teams in town has been more blustering than active. But Leonsis acted Saturday in making wholesale changes to the Washington Capitals, weary of their plateaued and dispirited play, even though it meant distracting his customers from the Washington Wizards’ clench-fisted performance in the NBA playoffs.
Leonsis has put himself squarely on the spot — and in an interesting way. His decision is counterintuitive, and equally intriguing for the timing and messaging. The Capitals missed the NHL playoffs this season for the first time since 2007. The Wizards hadn’t made the playoffs since 2006. Yet the Caps are the team whose management Leonsis decided to gut, firing coach Adam Oates and refusing to renew the contract of general manager George McPhee. The difference? “Where we are in the plan,” Leonsis said at a late afternoon news conference.
It’s a striking move, and a viscerally assertive from an owner who until now had seemed more interested in his roles as a marketing impresario, venture capitalist, and quirky self-help author with a shrinking waistline and stand-up hair. It’s based on Leonsis’ personal calculation that the two teams are headed in opposite ways — and he’s right.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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