24 April, 2014


New Season Chat with the Owner (Part I)

Approximately one hour before the Capitals’ annual media luncheon on Tuesday, majority owner Ted Leonsis agreed to field questions we posed to him in his office at Verizon Center. Our favorite interviews of Mr. Leonsis are those that elicit asymmetric insights from our visionary hockey CEO, and we feel like we got plenty of those on Tuesday.
The owner addressed his organization’s full emergence from a rigorous rebuild, to the point where this autumn he presides over a popular preseason pick for Cup contender status. He offered fresh thoughts on the slow death of old media. Asked if the atmosphere in Verizon Center can possibly get any better than that of last spring, he replied, in effect, “Oh yeah!” He explained what management did this offseason to address significant concerns about the quality of the ice surface at Verizon Center. He detailed, in a way we’d never heard before, just how thoroughly integrated the Caps are with their American League affiliate the Hershey Bears, “down to the minute” in individual practices. We also asked the owner, in light of Alexander Ovechkin’s status as the greatest hockey talent today on the planet, to indulge us with his reminiscence of the summer of 2005, when he was in draft war room discussions with his general manager and scouts about the uber-exciting prospect from Russia. You won’t want to miss that.
Speaking of the Hershey Bears, on Tuesday we recalled a trip Mr. Leonsis made on his jet to a Bears’ playoff game a couple of seasons back, a stylish journey of some 17 minutes, and we asked him if he’d consider chartering AirTed for a trip back to Hershey this hockey season, filling the plane exclusively with Washington hockey bloggers. His answer might surprise you.
Over the next couple of days, leading up to the start of the Caps’ season, we’ll offer you a full reckoning of our visit with one of the NHL’s most respected owners.



8 Comments

  1. Gustafsson wrote:

    Notice that Ted most definitely uses AOL Instant Messenger as you can hear his buddies sign-on and off in the background.

    8 October, 2008 at 7:00 am | Permalink
  2. maruk wrote:

    The owner willingly rolling up his sleeves to address a beer crisis? That, my friends, is change we can believe in.

    8 October, 2008 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  3. Cheryl wrote:

    I am new Caps season ticket holder and am very excited about the season. Thanks for posting the video clip – it is wonderful to hear how much Ted cares about the team and the fans. It is night and day to the way we have been treated (as season ticket holders) by other local franchises. Thanks Ted!

    8 October, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  4. b.orr4 wrote:

    I was watching Ted on Washington Post Live yesterday and he seemed awfully subdued, even distracted. Then I realized he probably lost tens of millions on the stock market in the last few days. I’m just wondering how this current economic crisis will affect his and his partners decisions on future team spending.

    8 October, 2008 at 11:02 am | Permalink
  5. Lee (PTO) wrote:

    The Capitals will be worth way more money if they can add 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Champion to their portfolio? : ] “Alex, can you spare an 80-goal season for the Big Fella? Times are tight and I need brisk jersey sales to keep me solvent…”
    We are BLESSED with THE BEST OWNER in pro sports. Thanks for everything, Mr. Leonsis!

    8 October, 2008 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  6. Great interview! Leonsis definitely is a great owner, and I hope we get a cup here soon!

    8 October, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  7. macvechkin, fka jr wrote:

    Outstanding post. Can’t imagine going back to life before OFB and the other blogs mentioned.

    9 October, 2008 at 3:03 am | Permalink
  8. 9 October, 2008 at 5:01 am | Permalink