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McPhee said it’s been a process of off-ice development for his younger players who have grown up.

“These kids got to be terrific players over night and celebrities over night and making money over night. They were young guys and they had their fun,” he said. “The message has been, recently, you can be serious and still have fun.”

That never has been a problem for the charismatic Ovechkin, whose success draws from enjoying hockey. And he said emphatically that he won’t turn into a “robot” anytime soon.

“I’m always have fun. Of course if it’s bad game, I make some mistakes, of course I think about it,” Ovechkin said. “But that kind of situation, you have to have fun.”