The big news in Washington sports is the change in quarterback for the Washington Redskins. A trade for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on Tuesday spells the end of the tenure of Kirk Cousins as Washington’s starting quarterback.
While it may have nothing to do with hockey, a big trade involving a professional sports team in the same city still caught the attention of the Caps.
“Obviously a really, really big deal, but in sports you're kind of a part of it,” T.J. Oshie said after Wednesday’s morning skate. “When things aren't going well or you're expected to get to a certain place and it doesn't happen, GMs tend to shake things up. Kind of what happened with me, obviously not as big of a deal as theirs for sure, not even close, but still it's shaking things up.”
As professional athletes, big trades tend to resonate across sports. Professional sports is a world few people know, but the Caps players can certainly relate to being suddenly uprooted from a city to become the hero somewhere else or to being unceremoniously cast aside for a newcomer.
It may not be hockey, but the trade had plenty of people talking in the locker room on Wednesday.
“It was something we were talking about,” Oshie said. “I think you pay attention to what the other local teams are doing and that's not just like a local thing, that's going to be talked about on all the networks. Pretty big deal and kind of fun having a discussion in here about what guys think, good or bad.”
While most were stunned by the trade, the mood was very different among the Capitals.
“I'm not surprised,” Barry Trotz said. “I'm not surprised because of the fact you didn't see a long-term commitment from an organization. If you don't see the long-term commitment, I think the writing's on the wall.”
“It kind of seemed like for whatever reason I thought he probably felt like he was underappreciated here for what he did,” Brooks Orpik said. “I always thought he handled himself with class. With what he had to work around him, I thought he always did really well. Sometimes you don't appreciate stuff until you lose it.”
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As for Smith, he already has a few fans among the Caps.
“I grew up a 49ers fan so I actually really like Alex Smith when they took him and they moved on from him,” he said. “I think he's a lot kind of the same mold as Cousins where he's not the flashiest guy, but he's really efficient and, same thing, he's probably underappreciated.”
Said Oshie, “It's going to be nice having Alex in town.”