WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- An avid blogger, Ted Leonsis remained silent on Monday (Leonsis updated his blog after the posting of this story).
Dale Hunter, Leonsis' embattled head coach, the guy who lit a fire under his team during the postseason, resigned on Monday morning.
Hunter's departure is a sobering moment frozen in time for the Caps. Washington has just three playoff series victories since 1999, but this time, many in the media and fan base were spinning the latest Capitals game seven defeat in a positive light. They argued because of the inspired play and improved effort under Hunter's postseason direction, the Caps would go into the 2013 playoffs more hungry than ever.
Well, gone is that notion of Hunter's touch of momentum, and possibly gone are some of these big names: Alex Semin, Mike Green, Dennis Wideman, Jay Beagle and Keith Aucoin, all of which will hit the free agency market later this summer. It's also time for Ted Leonsis to seriously consider adding general manager George McPhee to the list of possible bygones.
McPhee's departure would be more stunning than Hunter's; Leonsis is known for his patience and lenience with management. After all, he is bringing back Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld, even after the basketball franchise became a laughing stock in the sports world. Still, could there be a more opportune time to retool the Caps with a new set of eyes?
McPhee's held his title since 1997, and, well, the disheartening results continue to pile on, season after season. Why is such a talented roster unable to achieve success in the spring?
By no means am I a Capitals expert, but you would be hard-pressed to convince me that Dale Hunter and Alex Ovechkin thought highly of each other. If Hunter actually believed that the Ovi/Semin/Backstrom/Chimera core could win a Stanley Cup soon, he would've stuck around.
"It was a tough choice. The big thing is, do the players believe in themselves?" said Hunter on Monday.
Coaches don't quit on players they believe in. The quote tells you that the Capitals aren't buying into the fact that they are an elite team. Hunter's family business will always be there. He was desperate to get out of town. The pressure to succeed with a roster full of all the right pieces on paper, just wasn't worth it.
And that's where McPhee is at fault. Bruce Boudreau fell in and out of love with Ovechkin and Dale Hunter didn't even see it necessary to play the captain in crunch time. McPhee's created and continued a surrendering type of atmosphere in D.C., as opposed to a culture of perseverance.
Timing is everything in life. Parting ways with McPhee now would be a clean break and a new beginning for the Capitals -- an long overdue adjustment. Any other timing for McPhee's departure will be a messy one Leonsis