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Leonsis: 'I was horrified'

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Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis did his first live-on-video “Owner’s Corner” segment on the Caps’ Web site with Mike Vogel on Thursday afternoon, and touched on at least two timely topics you’ll find interesting.

(To view the whole video, click here)

First up, to Vog’s credit, were the steroid allegations lobbed by two drug dealers in Florida yesterday (link here to our story from Tim Lemke and Co.).

“I was horrified,” Leonsis said of when he first heard the news. “It was about the worst thing you could hear about your team, and we are taking this very very seriously.

“We are working with the NHL and we are going to do everything we can to cooperate and hopefully exonerate our entire organization. We want to keep the game clean, and I want to keep our franchise really top-notch, high quality, and we want to exonerate the players and everyone involved.”

Leonsis pointed out that the Capitals were tested three times in each of the last two seasons. Also, many of the team’s players were tested for the World Championships and other international competition.

But he refused to just brush the charges aside. “I’d like to be dismissive of it, but I don’t think we can,” he said. “We have to be very very serious and just cooperate fully. I’ve told everyone in the organization that these are serious allegations. I’m hoping there’s nothing to them and I would expect there’s nothing to them, but we’re going to work very very hard to make sure that we are clean.”

Later in the show, Vogel asked Leonsis how he felt about the Capitals possibly participating in one of the overseas junkets or, better yet, the Winter Classic — the league’s showcase, outdoor, New Year’s Day game.

Leonsis didn’t linger on the overseas trip, but jumped at the chance to talk about the Winter Classic.

“The New Year’s Day classic – I’m smitten with,” Leonsis said. “I think the game at Wrigley this year was one of the greatest TV sporting events I’ve seen. I just thought it was magnificent. I never thought I would say, ‘New Year’s Day is owned by the NHL.’ So if we were asked to play, we would play. I’m sure there are 26 other owners doing the same kind of lobbying. That would be a fun event to participate in.”

It will be a while before we see the smoke, as Leonsis said, but there are plenty of rumors out there that have the Caps in the game for the 2009-10 season. The outdoor location has all but been confirmed as Fenway Park in Boston, with the Bruins as a participant. The Caps have been rumored as the opponent, along with the Philadelphia Flyers.

(Eric McErlain has more on the Winter Classic rumors over at The Sporting Blog)

Corey will be back on Friday, checking in live from Detroit.

- John Taylor

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