As a Caps fan, you’ve become as accustomed to the familiar cast of core characters, i.e. Ovechkin, Green, Backstrom, as you have to utter disappointment come playoff time. Although many will agree that these players are the core of the team, I’d like to throw out several names of the not so distant past, the players I consider, in no particular order, THE TOP 5 CAPITALS PLAYERS LOST IN THE LAST 5 YEARS.
– Sergei Fedorov
Disagree if you want but Sergei on this list for one reason, and one reason only in my eyes; LEADERSHIP.
Up until the 2009-10 season when Alexander Ovechkin was named “CAPTAIN”, I wouldn’t call the alumni of the past decade a roaring success. Let’s take a look back…
2006-09: Chris Clark- Okay, Clark was a decent captain. He led by example… at least in terms of being devoted to the game and his team, but I have to question the chemistry he had with the younger players on the team.
2005-06: Jeff Halpern- … exactly.
2001-03: Steve Konowalchuk- Along with a lil Brendan Witt tossed in for a little less than a year, I just wasn’t sold on the idea of Konowalchuk being the leader of the team. Aside from the fact that in the 2001-02 season, he only played 28 games, he never topped 25 goals in a season in his entire NHL career. I know that being a captain isn’t about the numbers you put up, but again, much like Clark, I have to really wonder what his chemistry was like with the rest of the team. The only reason I would ever put a “C” on his chest… he did play two years for the Baltimore Skipjacks.
So here we have the 2009-2010 Washington Capitals. After the recent acquisition of Jason Chimera, we lost both our captain, Chris Clark, and that freaking Slovakian giant, Milan Jurcina. So we’re left with a 24 year old Russian kid with the leadership skills of a potato at the helm of our beloved team.
But wait?! WHAT’S THAT?! A 39 year old Russian with bad shoulders?! SOLD!
However, this isn’t your every day 39 year old Russian with bad shoulders, this is three time Stanley Cup champion, six time all-star, Sergei Fedorov. This man’s laundry list of awards and achievements surpasses the cumulative number of shirts, pants, socks and underwear that I have on my ACTUAL laundry list. Sure, he only scored 11 of his career 1,179 NHL goals his first season with the team, but dammit, these guys respected him; especially the ones that needed it the most, the core of the goal scoring this season, namely, Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, and Viktor Kozlov. On top of this, he carried the team to their second Southeast Division title in as many years as well as 14 games deep into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
I feel like I had to have given enough reason for a few of you in doubt to at least PRETEND I have a point.
– Mike Cramer