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Caps GM wants Ovechkin to change offseason training

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck past Trevor Daley #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Verizon Center on November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Alex Ovechkin won’t be traded. (Yet.) And he’ll still be the captain of the Washington Capitals next season.

But that doesn’t mean everything will stay the same for the Great Eight. After a “down year,” in the words of general manager Brian MacLellan, the 31-year-old winger needs to change his training habits.

“For him moving forward, he’s getting into the low 30s and he’s going to have to think of ways that he can evolve into a player that still has a major impact on the game,” MacLellan said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “The game is getting faster. He’s going to have to train in a different way, a more speed way than a power way. He’s going to have to make adjustments to stay relative in the game.”

Ovechkin had 33 goals in 2016-17, but only 16 of them were at even strength. That was by far the lowest total of his NHL career, not counting the lockout-shortened 2013 season.


“Five-on-five goals is going to be the key for him, how much he can create 5-on-5,” MacLellan added. “He’s going to have to make adjustments in the way he approaches the game in the offseason to get to that point where he can score 5-on-5 goals.”