Break up the Capitals, Ovechkin included

building a dynasty — like applying a brush to a ceiling — can be a messy business. And as the trade deadline approaches, Leonsis and general manager George McPhee have a tough decision to make: Do they continue down the same path, which right now has them on the verge of missing the playoffs, or do they try another color scheme and begin a radical reshuffling of the roster?

I’m kind of partial to the latter option. The question, to me isn’t whether the Capitals should be buyers or sellers at the deadline, it’s: How many players should they put in the store window? And that includes their captain, Alex Ovechkin, the guy Leonsis has built the franchise around. If the Caps can get a reasonable return for Ovie, should they deal him? Put it this way: I’d be stunned if they did, but only because the team has so much invested in him.

As each month passes, I’m more and more convinced that only a change of scenery — if that — will ever bring back the Ovechkin of three years ago. If he stays in D.C., “wrapped up” in his “rock star status” (in Olie Kolzig’s words), he’ll go right on scoring 30 to 35 goals a season, and the club will go right on being a disappointment.