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Leonsis ‘Deluding’ Himself About Stanley Cup Aspirations, La Canfora Says

by Chris Lingebach
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Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis shields his eyes as he walks past the Stanely Cup after a briefing on the state of hockey with members of the Congressional Hockey Caucus in the Rayburn House Office Building April 24, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Capitals clinched their fifth Southeast Division title in the past six years and are headed to the playoffs. Hockey fans consider it bad luck to touch the Stanely Cup if they ever desire to win it. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Washington Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis shields his eyes as he walks past the Stanely Cup after a briefing on the state of hockey with members of the Congressional Hockey Caucus in the Rayburn House Office Building April 24, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Capitals clinched their fifth Southeast Division title in the past six years and are headed to the playoffs. Hockey fans consider it bad luck to touch the Stanely Cup if they ever desire to win it. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - When NFL analyst Jason La Canfora came on with 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Thursday, he did so to talk football.

But when he was asked a hockey question off the top, La Canfora – who covered the Capitals for five years – gave owner Ted Leonsis and the entire Washington Capitals organization an unexpected verbal decleater.

“If they want to make cosmetic changes – fire the play-by-play guy, change the uniform – that’s great, but keep having a rotating door of coaches,” La Canfora began.

“I mean look, you either make fundamental changes in how you’re acquiring players, what your culture is, how you’re paying players and try to get yourself over the hump, or you can fool yourself into thinking every year, just because we made the playoffs we’re just on the cusp of the Stanley Cup,” he continued. “And if the fans are willing to continue to pay the freight and they seem to buy in, then I guess you don’t have to change.”

He crushed everybody he believes to be responsible for the team’s six consecutive failed efforts to raise the cup.

“If your team captain isn’t really a team captain, then is there a covert team captain?” he asked, hypothetically. “A guy that can actually keep him in check in the locker room?”

Then there’s Ted Leonsis, adored by Caps fans for bringing winning hockey back to the nation’s capital.

“Ted’s going to have to make some, I don’t even think some tough choices, just some big boy, real professional sports choices,” La Canfora said.

“Or again, you can keep writing blogs and deluding yourself and thinking people will buy in, that because you have this one superstar player, you know, every year its just ‘Oh, a bad break here, and oh darn, we hit a post, otherwise we’d be hoisting another Stanley Cup.’ They’re nowhere near it.”

General Manager George McPhee wasn’t immune to this barrage either.

“They’ve overpaid guys past their prime,” he said. “The kids they’ve tried to develop haven’t developed. When you look at kids they drafted really, really high that just gave them absolutely nothing, it’s just hard to overcome that.”

“I mean, we’ll see. I don’t think they’re anywhere close.”

Listen to the three-minute assault:

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