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Caps owner doesn’t think window of opportunity is closing


Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis speaks during a briefing on the state of hockey in the US, including instructional hockey and safety in youth sports, held by The Congressional Hockey Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin recently celebrated his 28th birthday, so he’s clearly not a youngster by NHL standards. He’s given the Capitals some great seasons and had some terrific talent around him, but Washington hasn’t gotten past the second round with him.

All the same, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis doesn’t think time is running out for this team to win a championship.

“Well, when our players are 36 years old I’ll probably feel that,” Leonsis said, according to CSN Washington. “But we still have a relatively young team and our core players are just now entering their prime. ... I think the window is still wide open for us.”

It helps his argument that Ovechkin is one of the oldest members of his team’s core. Nicklas Backstrom won’t turn 26 until November, Mike Green is still a few weeks away from his 28th birthday, and goaltender Braden Holtby is just 24.

So even though the Capitals won the now defunct Southeast Division in five of their last six campaigns only to fall short in the playoffs, they aren’t in desperation mode yet.

“But this is an important year, obviously, for everybody,” Leonsis added. “We think we have a really, really good team and we want to qualify for the playoffs and we want to go deep in the playoffs and win a Cup.”

The Capitals have two preseason games remaining before the face the Chicago Blackhawks in their season opener on Tuesday.

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