McPhee: Golden Knights not trading for Ovechkin

Posted: 06/06/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,
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The incoming Vegas Golden Knights won’t put together a deal to acquire Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.

While a trade would reconnect Ovechkin with Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, who was at the Capitals’ helm until 2014, he said it’s not a move fans should expect to see in the coming weeks.

“That’s not going to happen. Too many No. 8 jerseys in Washington,” McPhee told Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal of the fan enthusiasm for the Russian superstar in D.C.

Ovechkin’s name joined the rumor mill when the Capitals lost again in the second round of the postseason. It was a disappointing finish for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team, which hasn’t made it to the third round of the playoffs since 1998.

That’s led to talk of change in Washington, and Ovechkin is a central part of those discussions. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan did little to quiet the murmurs earlier this week, when he left open the possibility that Washington could consider trading their leader if a “hockey deal” emerged.

The GM added that Vegas is unlikely to pursue Ovechkin’s countryman, Ilya Kovalchuk, who’s considering a return to the NHL after spending the past four seasons in the KHL.

“We haven’t had any discussions and I don’t imagine we’d go down that path,” McPhee told reporters Saturday, via Sportsnet. “We’ll be looking for younger players and people who will be with us three-to-four years from now.”

Kovlachuk, 34, can return to the NHL if he signs with the New Jersey Devils, who hold his rights, at which point he can be dealt to another club.

While McPhee won’t pursue either of the two Russians, he added that the Golden Knights are close to their first trade, and could have an announcement as early as Monday or Tuesday.

Vegas will make its expansion draft picks as part of the NHL Awards ceremony held June 21 at T-Mobile Arena, the team’s home arena.

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