18 April, 2014


La Canfora Unloads, Again

Former Washington Post Capitals reporter Jason La Canfora was back on 106.7 the Fan today, ostensibly to discuss his present beat, the NFL, but studio host Danny Rouhier, to his credit, had his guest weigh in on the latest Capitals’ collapse. Dan Steinberg has a full reckoning of the segment here, and it’s stunning in its candor and the scope of its condemnation. You can listen to the actual audio here.

La Canfora

Choice excerpts:

  • La Canfora, on Martin Erat: ” . . . the trade for Erat? I mean, is that gonna pay any dividends? He was a passenger when he was healthy. You traded a top prospect for that?”
  • “I don’t really know what their identity is [emphasis OFB's]. You’re just constantly swapping out goaltenders, you’re constantly swapping out coaches, and you’re not really changing your culture or changing your locker room or making your team any more difficult to face in the playoffs. I mean, it kind of blows my mind. They’ve been NO more difficult to face in the playoffs for how long has Ted owned the team? They went to the Finals in ’98; you can go back to ’99 and they’re kind-of sort-of the same team.”
  • On the Ovechkin captaincy: “Clearly there’s something wrong there and something adrift,” he said. “I think you look at how you they put their team together, and who is the team captain. If your team captain isn’t really a team captain, then is there a covert team captain, a guy who actually can keep him in check in the locker room?”
  • ” . . . every year it’s just ‘Ooh, a bad break here, and oh darn, we hit a post, and otherwise we’d be hoisting another Stanley Cup . . . They’re nowhere near [winning a Cup] . . . And we’ll see when these divisions change how it works out for them. But they had a gift for whatever — eight or ten years — of playing in this division with a bunch of teams that fiscally just couldn’t or wouldn’t compete. And it’s resulted in what? A couple of playoff round wins, and that’s about it. So I don’t know. I would say that’s pretty disappointing.”


6 Comments

  1. Kelly Johnston wrote:

    When the head of your team (Ted Leonsis) has never created or been part of a sustainably good organization, how can we expect him to make the Capitals into one? He made most of his money to buy the Caps from timely cashing out his stock at the almost defunct AOL; he’s co-CEO of the nearly defunct and failing Groupon. Name another company he’s founded or runs that can reasonably be defined as sustainable or successful (yet, anyway)? And you wonder why he can’t hold his General Manager accountable? He doesn’t know now. He refused to confront the brutal facts. He has the wrong people in the wrong seats on the bus. But he is good at marketing and making money for himself. Jason is, sadly, correct.

    17 May, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink
  2. Mike Rucki wrote:

    Kelly, I agree with Jason and with you for the most part — but one would have to consider AOL a *huge* success. Sure, it didn’t last forever, but it was THE source for the Internet for millions of people for a while, and lots of its employees and shareholders got very, very rich. Just last year AOL sold various patents and licenses to Microsoft for over a billion dollars; they posted $600M in 2012 Q4 too [ thank you, wikipedia :) ].

    Anyway, I’m all for criticizing the many undeniable problems with this team and management. But his time with AOL was undoubtedly a successful endeavor with a good organization.

    17 May, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  3. Bruce Chango wrote:

    “Last 8 or 10 years playing with teams that couldn’t or wouldn’t compete” (Paraphrasing)
    That thought is slightly misleading.
    2002 Stanley Cup Finalist – Carolina Hurricanes
    2004 SCC – Tampa Bay Lightning
    2006 SCC – Carolina Hurricanes

    18 May, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  4. gs12 wrote:

    I, for one, am tired of all the whining about management with the Caps, Ted has done nothing but try to make the Caps work – his biggest fault is sticking w GMGM too long.

    GMGM has made some bad trades and decisions, but for the most part, he aquired alot of good players in both draft and trades.

    The problem is leadership for the Caps, on the IC. OV isn’t a leader….that’s the main issue. As OV goes, so goes the Caps. He had no goals in the last 5 playoff games, and one SOG in the 7th game. The entire 1st line wasn’t good.

    It’s a team game, but when your leaders don’t play like leaders, your not going to win many.

    18 May, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  5. Really? wrote:

    @GS12 – Based on your comment, here’s a question…with the same exact roster but just a different captain, do the Caps win the cup next year? If you say yes, you’re delusional and part of the problem with the Caps organization!

    La Canfora is 100% right. When will Caps “fans” wake up and realize this team is a trainwreck?

    As someone posted on the message boards – outside of the Stanley Cup Finals run in GMGM’s first year, the Caps have won a grand total of 3 playoff series in the past 14 years. Are you proud of that as a fan? And check the trade deadline from the 97-98 SCF season…GMGM did NOTHING to contribute to that team…it was all Poile’s players. Actually, McPhail traded Sylvain Cote for Jeff Brown that year.

    You can’t keep pulling the Jaromir Jagr/Wojtek Wolski wool over our eyes forever, Uncle Teddy!

    20 May, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  6. Bob wrote:

    @Bruce: not sure the SE teams that either won or got to the finals pertains to the Caps’ repetitious and predictable collapses in the postseason. Problem here is that there is a problem with the Franchise and the NHL playoffs. They don’t mix well at all. Maybe Ted can start by removing every single Caps’ trophy banner (except the 1998 Conference Championship banner), and make it look like it really feels for most of the stubbornly loyal Caps’ fans. That this team/franchise has a terrible playoff record, and it is a scar that we wear in the hopes of one day seeing this team vindicated for all their past collapses, as we saw with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 – when they finally won the WS, even not being a big fan of baseball, it was a thrilling thing to see, and I wondered how awesome would that be if the Caps could finally get just one SC.

    Nobody wins the Cup by going through the motions. This team seems to be good at that in the post season. I thought we had taken a step in the right direction by cutting Semin and his half-@$$ing it around the ice all season, but obviously there is more than just one person not playing their hearts out on the ice during the playoffs when the going gets tough. Because when the going gets tough in the playoffs for this team, they regress from the cohesive unit we saw in game #1, to the disorganized gaggle of individuals trying to play a team sport but getting their butts handed to them by the #6 seed bringing their ‘B’ game to game #7. The team we saw in game #7 probably would have lost in EPIC fashion to any one of the four teams that made it to the NCAA frozen four.

    As we all know, this intergenerational franchise problem will only be solved by the winning the Cup.

    That can not happen until there is genuine commitment and honest resolve from the GM, coaching staff, all the Players, all the Trainers, and on down to the towel boys – EVERYONE, to win the Cup without any excuses no matter what adversity or opponent is thrown at them and make adjustments in the playoffs when necessary (e.g. NYR, PIT, etc.). Every year if they don’t get there, they do an honest, well thought out evaluation of the organization and make changes where necessary to operations, practice, practice schedule, difficulty of practice, playoff travel methods, playoff travel schedules, honesty in evaluating injuries, player conduct on and off the ice, and when the spring season comes, to leave everything on the ice, so that when that playoff pressure comes, they don’t add to the scars by folding up like pack of cheap suits.

    We do know that changing nothing will result in NOT winning the SC. Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results, is the very definition of insanity.

    Maybe we should change the nickname to “The Insane Cardiac Caps.”

    20 May, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink