To say the Washington Capitals’ organization wasn’t thrilled about the NHL’s three-game suspension of Alex Ovechkin might be a slight understatement.
“I was surprised and disappointed. I didn’t anticipate he’d be suspended for three games,” said George McPhee, echoing his owner’s comments earlier in the day.
Ted Leonsis wrote: “I do not agree in any way with the suspension of Alex Ovechkin for 3 games.”
McPhee noted that the Caps made the case to the league that Ovechkin should not be considered a repeat offender. Both prior suspensions came more than 18 months ago, and the general manager questioned Ovechkin’s two-game ban from 2010 for a hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell.
“I was disappointed in the suspension because he’s considered a repeat offender and I don’t believe he should have been suspended in the past for at least one of those hits. The one in Chicago – he outweighed the player by 50 pounds, it’s not his fault,” McPhee said. “And there was a lot of gray then. I think we’ve cleaned up the gray and it’s clearer now what we’re trying to do. But I think that was a factor in this decision and I don’t think it should have been.”
Ovechkin said he’s going to be treated like a repeat offender the rest of his career and “it is what it is.”
Predictably, he wasn’t happy with the suspension, either.
“I was disappointed actually. Most things is going to be all my career it’s going to be like that,” Ovechkin said. “My game is play physical, my game is play hard. I don’t think it was a dirty hit. Yeah, I jumped but I think he don’t get hurt, I don’t get two minutes. I don’t think it was three-game suspension.”