Live Blog: Ask the Owner with Ted Leonsis

Leonsis has promised to dance at halftime during the first Wizards sellout game. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON — Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis was a guest Tuesday on WTOP’s “Ask the Owner” program. Here’s what he had to say:

10:55 a.m., speaking about the recent coaching and general manager change at the Mystics:

“I totally understand” fan frustration.

“We can’t make judgement on whether it was a good move or a bad move until we can see how the team plays next year.”

10:48 a.m., speaking about building up Wizards:

“If you look at a majority of the teams that have won championships…they all were built around their high draft choices and they used free agency to compliment the Kobe Byrants, Michael Jordans, Tim Duncans.”

10:47 a.m., speaking about Coach Bruce Boudreau’s popularity:

“We’ve won championships and our first President’s Trophy. (The fans) will really love him if he can win a Stanley Cup.”

10:44 a.m., speaking about changes to Ovechkin and Alex Semin’s game:

“We have such a deep team that we don’t need to rely on Ovechkin to carry the team.”

“Semin is another worldly player. He has top ten in the league skills, but the biggest issue we’ve had with Alex is his health.”

10:39 a.m., speaking about Alex Ovechkin’s performance:

If you watch, when he gets the puck, he basically gets triple teamed. He knows that, and instead of trying to be Superman, he distributes and back-checks more.

“He’s proven to himself that he can be most valuable player and lead the league in goals, now he just wants to win a (Stanley) Cup.”

10:35 a.m., speaking about HBO series documenting the lead-up to the Winter Classic:

“I’ll try to do and say nothing that becomes locker-room billboard fodder. I just want to get out of Pittsburgh in the most peaceful way possible.”

Leonsis has asked the league to reward the fans with a Winter Classic game in Washington, and that should happen in the next three years.

10:28 a.m., speaking about Capitals playoff hopes:

“We’re first in the east and tied for the most points, yet there’s an overarching feeling that we’re not that good. And I kind of agree with folks. To live up to expectations, we have to win a Stanley Cup.”

10:24 a.m., speaking about Gilbert Arenas:

“Gilbert made a mistake and paid a very, very high price. I believe in atonement, and I’ve embraced him.”

10:23 a.m., helping with Traffic & Weather on the 8s:

“I-495 is bad. The Parkway is worse.”

10:18 a.m., speaking about changing the Wizards colors:

“Our fans can expect all of the teams that play in the Verizon Center to have red, white and blue as a motif.”

“One, the fans want that, and two, I have a boatload of red ties. I don’t have a lot of black and gold ties”

10:12 a.m., Leonsis would not comment on potentially purchasing the Redskins from Dan Snyder.

10:09 a.m., speaking about Coach Flip Saunders walking out of practice:

That was more about the coach trying to send a message. We have a very young team, referencing Gilbert Arena’s “setback.”

“I think the message we’re trying to send is, you’re 1-4. You have a couple games at home. If you play very hard, we can make up for the lack of veterans we have on the team.”

10:03 a.m., speaking about recently purchasing the Wizards and the initial changes:

“It’s a total rebuild. I’m unabashed about saying that. I was advised once, ‘Never say the “R” word,’ and I say, ‘What are we afraid of?'”

“The only way I knew to rebuild the team and capture the enthusiasm of the fan base was to ‘go young.'”

“I think John (Wall) will be a bedrock player for us, for hopefully decades, and we’re blessed to have a young talent like him to help build the next generation of Wizards basketball.”

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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