There was a time when the idea of Alexander Ovechkin wearing any NHL uniform other than that of the Washington Capitals was unfathomable.
That was before the lockout kicked in and the celestial Capitals captain wasted no time signing with the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo in his native Russia.
Depending especially on the length of the lockout, there is no telling where Ovechkin’s heart will be when the Caps are ready to resume play. Furthermore, while one would like to think that his last two seasons of finishing in the 30-goal range were a mere fluke, he could grow exponentially less endearing if he does not return to old form.
Any combination of factors or even a single factor could result in the Capitals cutting their captain loose or Ovechkin more or less moving himself to the KHL. It may never happen, but it still could at virtually any time.
Now, there are more than enough NHL players who were once universally assumed to be in a til-retirement-do-we-part alliance with their current teams to compose a pair of opposing starting lineups.
Do note that, while the likelihood of a trade or free agency departure varies in each case, the possibility plainly exists.
In addition to Ovechkin, the top 12 candidates to drain their last ounce of untouchable potion and start representing a new NHL franchise are as follows.