Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon recently appeared on Sports Talk 980 for an interview, and he had a few things to say about the Capitals and a D.C. Hockeytown.
"It's not going to be a hockey town. It can rally around the Capitals because of the great star. This is a star town -- you have to be a star in Washington. We don't have many. The biggest star we've got hasn't played in two years - Gilbert [Arenas]. So if Ovechkin can take over that and keep scoring goals and jumping into the glass and being the showman that the NHL needs and lacks, then this will become an Ovechkin town and a Capitals town for a minute. It will not become a hockey town, but that's okay."
While many will not agree with Wilbon's comments, he does have a point.
Washington has had a star-less sports sky outside of the Capitals. With Gilbert Arenas sidelined, the Nationals without a superstar and the Redskins roster full of aging free agents, the Capitals have taken center stage with their home-grown talent.
If the Capitals want to reach the "hockey town" fever pitch, it's going to require more than one superstar on the team. The Capitals are looking at having four: Green, Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom, but now it's up to the community to embrace them.
Of course one scenario to think about would be this. If you're not convinced that Washington is currently "Ovechkin-town," then step into our "what if?" machine for a second.
Imagine if the Capitals didn't win the first overall pick in 2004 and instead drafted Evgeni Malkin or Cam Barker.
I think it's safe to say that we'd possibly be looking at a very different hockey climate in the area.
Can Washington become a "hockey town?" Sure, but it's going to require year after year of winning and more than one personality that fans will embrace just as they have with Ovechkin.
I hope Michael Wilbon is wrong, but he is right and he's not insulting the Capitals. Washington is currently "Ovechkin-town," and that's not a bad thing.
assist to CMB poster NeutralZoner