Leonsis says trades show Caps "mean business"
With the NHL trade deadline and the NFL free agency opening coming on back-to-back days last week, we got yet another chance to compare the approaches of Ted Leonsis and Daniel Snyder. This, though, might be the first time in the history of the world that their approaches converged.
First Snyder, whose approach was described in a Peter King column:
Shanahan, the Redskins' coach with the power, and Allen, the new general manager, worked on a long-term plan for the team in their first month on the job and gave it to Snyder just before the Super Bowl. "He said, 'Good. Do what you guys think is best,' '' Allen said Sunday.
And the plan really included keeping the checkbook in the pocket on the first weekend of free agency? Really? Was Snyder apoplectic? "No,'' Allen said. "He didn't throw anything at me. And he didn't throw a tantrum. He's fine with it.''
Then Leonsis, who talked about how he approached the trade deadline during his Monday morning appearance with the Junkies. Even if Snyder was as hands-off as King described, Leonsis managed to one-up him in hands-offedness.
"I'm almost embarrassed to tell you the truth," the Caps owner said. "About a week before the deadline, there was a meeting with George [McPhee], and Dick Patrick -- president of the team -- and myself. And it was a pretty short meeting, which was we're in year four of this grand plan, let's review what the strategy is. And let's review what I would consider us...being dumb.
"So we kind of wrote that on the board, and it wasn't specific to players. Our plan was to build a generationally great team that could compete and win a Cup and be great for a dozen years or so. We're on our way to doing that, and so we can't do anything that will muck with chemistry, but more importantly, with the salary cap, so that we can't keep our young core of players together.
"And if you can improve the team without taking back big huge salaries that we will regret in the out years, or to move a bundle of great young players for this quick sugar fix of a vet who can help us right now. Do we agree on the strategy? And once we agreed, I said 'Ok, you're on your own.'
"And so the trade deadline last week I was in New York City. I actually had a board meeting from 12 to 2. I was taking the 3 o'clock train home. The train deadline ended at 3. I got in the car at 2. My son sent me a text, 'Hey dad, I see we made a trade for Scotty Walker. I called my son and he said where are you? I said New York. I got online on the train about 3:15 and started reading about all of the trades."
So if that's to be believed, the team's owner learned about the significant changes to his roster on the Internet. Let's see the Redskins owner pull that off. Maybe it will help our Redskins Insider traffic, not that it needs it.
The Junkies also asked Leonsis about the possible downside to this trade: messing up chemistry, and putting too many significant contributors in the press box. On this Monday morning, the healthy scratches would appear to include Tomas Fleischmann, Scotty Walker and Shaone Morrisonn, all of whom are obvious NHL regulars. So, why add so many pieces?
"The big fear, to be frank, is health," Leonsis said. "You know, you're one or two injuries away from really regretting not adding depth, and today our issue is we have too many players. And it's working to our advantage, because we don't have much to play for. We'll probably wrap up the division to make the payoffs within the next couple of games, three, four games....We have a shot to end up with the best record in the league, and that would give you home ice throughout the playoffs, but it's not the motivator to really play really, really hard, like your life depends on it, to get ready for the playoffs.
"Well, bringing in these players, it makes for some internal competition. And it was really good for the coach now, because hey, if you're not giving me 110 percent, I'm gonna put someone in who wants the ice time. And if someone goes down, we now have depth. And so I think we did exactly the right thing. It certainly showed the players and the fans that we mean business, and we were able to do it in a way where we didn't hurt our future."
Posted by: EricS2 | March 8, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JohnWWW | March 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: VeloStrummer | March 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: leopard09 | March 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JBaker76 | March 8, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NovaCath1 | March 9, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.