All that's missing are the loud obnoxious radio commercials and the huge banner signs on the MCI centre. The Washington Capitals are having a clearance sale, and all are invited to come in and browse.
With Peter Bondra packing his bags and getting his passport updated for the move to Ottawa, there's only a few more bodies on the shelves at Crazy Ted's Discount emporium
Crazy Ted is clearing the merchandise, having moved most of his fancy European produce and now looks to finish off the job, taking offers on his trusty German and the relatively young Russian models.
With the season over half over and the Caps mired in the lower reaches of the standings, Leonis has decided it's rebuilding time and he wants to get that salary structure down low, low, low.
Olie Kolzig is expected to have a new zip or postal code by the March 9th deadline, his silver lining is that it will most likely be a team hot in pursuit of the Stanley Cup. Defenceman Sergei Gonchar is also expected to be packing his sticks and moving on, as the contenders prepare to pillage the pretenders.
For the long suffering Caps fan it must be hard pill to swallow, in 1998 they were Stanley Cup finalists. Now they resemble the expansion era Caps, as opposed to the team of the future of five years ago.
Having watched the parade of exiles leaving DC the last few weeks, both Kolzig and Gonchar are resigned to their fate. Kolzig, who has been no. 1 for seven years in Washington, acknowledges that his huge salary of 6.25 million is something that a rebuilding Caps team can't swallow. So he knows that he won't be finishing his career as a Capital.
Gonchar makes about 2 million less than Kolzig, but also realizes that a team tearing down it's foundation, won't be needing a veteran blue liner for the foreseeable future. With nine years as a Cap, he's prepared to bid farewell to the team he's starred for. It's part of the game he says, you have to just get up and move on.
As the lights dim for another day at Crazy Ted's, the phones will go silent for the night. But first thing tomorrow morning, the store opens up, and operators will be standing by. There are deals, deals, deals. Everything must go at Crazy Ted's clearance sale. No reasonable offer refused, hell even unreasonable offers may get a positive reply.