WASHINGTON (AP) -Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are starting their offseason much sooner than they expected after becoming the first top-seeded team to blow a 3-1 series lead against a No. 8 in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The Capitals had made clear they thought they could win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with the league's best record and most goals.
A day after being eliminated in the opening round with a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7, though, the Capitals are facing several tough questions. Are the Presidents' Trophy winners built for success in the playoffs? Are significant changes needed?
I'm very excited about what happened today. We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.
— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel, who he acquired from the Maple Leafs in a trade on Wednesday