Ahead of what is sure to be a chaotic NHL expansion draft, Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee has ruled out the possibility of the league’s newest member making a deal for Alex Ovechkin, suggesting that the Washington Capitals are not ready to let go.
The star winger’s untouchable status seemed to have been shorn after a disappointing season, which ended in crushing fashion in a Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs.
However, as reported by Golden Knights beat writer Steve Carp, on the final day of the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, former Captials GM McPhee believes that a trade for the 31-year-old No. 8 just isn’t on the table.
McPhee nixed idea of trade for Alex Ovechkin. "That's not going to happen. Too many No. 8 jerseys in Washington."
— Steve Carp (@stevecarprj) June 3, 2017
Earlier this week, Captials’ GM Brian MacLellan opened up about the future of his club and that of his captain. Safe to say he didn’t firmly shut the door on the possibility of a trade for Ovechkin.
“Maybe at some point if there’s a legitimate hockey deal that came available, but I don’t know that that’s where we’re at right now. I just think he’s got a history here, he’s a big part of this franchise and he’ll continue to be, going forward.”
The Russian has four years and $40 million remaining on his 13-year, $124 million contract, and the Captials could sure use some cap space to resign other star power, in the form of free agents T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky.
However, a trade involving Ovechkin remains a long shot, not least of all because of his superstar status in Washington. McPhee might not care about the No. 8’s on the back of fans’ jerseys, but he certainly cares about their bums in seats at the Verizon Center.
McPhee and MacLellan may be old college teammates, but until the former has something to negotiate with (see expansion draft) it’s hard to see the Capitals dealing away someone of Ovie’s stature and selling power.