3 Reasons the Washington Capitals Should Cut Ties with Alexander Ovechkin

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3 Reasons the Washington Capitals Should Cut Ties with Alexander Ovechkin
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Should the Washington Capitals actually cut ties with Alexander Ovechkin?

I know...I know.

Blasphemy, right? Absurd, preposterous, borderline insane. Insert your critical remark here.

If you have followed anything I have written here on Bleacher Report in the nearly one year I have been covering the Capitals, you already know I have been one of Ovi's biggest supporters.

I, like many of you, believed he would have a big bounce-back season. When the season got cut to 48 games, I still believed we were going to see the return of the Great 8.

I felt that if anyone could get Ovi back on track it would be Adam Oates, with his up-tempo style of hockey.

I watched Ovi play several games while he was in the KHL during the lockout. He looked great. He played in 31 games, scored 19 goals (fourth-best in the KHL), had 21 assists, 40 points and a plus-13 rating.

There was every reason to believe that Ovechkin would come back to the NHL and just light it up against defenses who had not had the same amount of quality playing time during the lockout.

But the reality is this, folks: Something is very wrong with Alexander Ovechkin, and as crazy as the idea would have sounded a couple of years ago, it is time for the Caps to really think about cutting ties with the face of the franchise and moving in a different direction.

Think about this—Joel Ward scored his fourth goal of the season Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs; Ovechkin scored his second.

That's right. The same Joel Ward who scored six goals all of last season (although he did score one of the biggest goals in franchise history in overtime of Game 7 against Boston) is outscoring Ovechkin at the rate of 2-to-1 right now.

That is beyond bad—it is entirely unacceptable.

This has not been lost on Caps' owner Ted Leonsis, who has indicated that Ovechkin "needs to play better" (Yahoo! Sports).

Ovechkin can blame the slow start on the larger KHL rinks all he wants. But that does not explain his lack of effort at times this season, or his standing around too much or just seeming to be somewhat disinterested in what is going on around him.

We only get rare flashes of emotion, such as when he finally scored against the Buffalo Sabres. But too often, the emotion and passion that made Ovechkin so much fun to watch in the good old days is just missing.

So, should the Washington Capitals actually cut ties with Alexander Ovechkin?

As nuts as it sounds, here are three reasons why they should.

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