- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
Thom Loverro: Bad memories bring hopes back to earth
Question of the Day
On Saturday night, the Capitals play their home opener at the Verizon Center, and they will hold no such ceremony to retire No. 68.
But you had better believe that the number of Jaromir Jagr still hangs over this franchise - particularly in a season such as this with high expectations.
The legacy of Jagr - the $77 million disappointment who came to Washington in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins the summer of 2001 to so much fanfare - is simply this:
Never forget how excited fans were when Jagr arrived.
Never forget the pride of supposedly having one of the best players in the league in a Capitals uniform.
Never forget the talk of competing for a Stanley Cup.
Never forget the disaster it all turned out to be - the Caps missed the playoffs in 2002 and were knocked out by Tampa Bay in 2003.
No one is suggesting the current version of the Capitals is anything like that personality-cursed Caps team of the Jagr era. The young, enthusiastic Alexander Ovechkin Capitals appear to be just the opposite.
But those who lived through the high expectations of the Jagr years get a little nervous when these young Capitals are anointed the hot team to beat in the NHL.
While the Capitals practiced on the Verizon Center ice one morning this week, general manager George McPhee sat in the stands and, responding to a question about the expectations for this team, recalled the high hopes when Jagr arrived.
A few minutes later, owner Ted Leonsis brought up Jagr as well.
“We sold a lot of tickets and there was a lot of media hype, and we didn’t make the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “I’ve reminded people of that. Nothing is handed to them. You are not destined to win.”
Ovechkin is no Jagr, and we mean that in a good way. He works hard and plays hard. He is admired and beloved by his teammates. He is by all accounts well grounded. He is not plagued by the demons away from the ice that made Jagr such a negative influence.
About the Author
- LOVERRO: These are Bruce Allen's Washington Redskins now
- LOVERRO: CBS Sports leaves broadcasters hanging in Redskins name debate
- LOVERRO: Who are the men behind D.C. 2024 curtain?
- LOVERRO: Ian Desmond could follow Jeter model in D.C.
- LOVERRO: Red Klotz an unquestioned winner despite 14,000 losses
Latest Blog Entries
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq