There’s one remainder from last weekend’s Caps Convention that we should mention. We received an email from a devoted Caps fan named Staci that is pretty cool. It’s about a player beloved by Caps fans, but one we haven’t talked about much here on RMNB: Olie Kolzig.
Here’s the story. WARNING: It’s sickeningly cute.
Staci and her family moved to the area right before the 05-06 season begun, right after the dark days of the lockout. They had season tickets and attended a whole bunch of games. Staci’s youngest, MacKenzie, picked Olie as her favorite player, even though she rarely stayed awake past the first period.
MacKenzie met Olie in February 2006 at a “Meet the Team” party for season-ticket holders. Precocious ‘Kenzie, all of four years, waited in line for an autograph from Olie before announcing, “You are my favorite player, and I want to marry you!”
Apparently not within earshot of his wife, Olie responded, “I will wait until you get older.”
In subsequent years, Staci and her family would return to these events. Each time they’d run into the goalie, he’d remember the little girl and tell her that he’s still waiting. In 2008 Olie fulfilled MacKenzie’s birthday wish of a kiss on the cheek. That summer Olie the Goalie left the Washington Capitals for Tampa Bay and what would become his disappointing final season in the NHL. Staci reports that MacKenzie cried when news of the signing broke.
Skip forward to 2010. MacKenzie, about to celebrate her ninth birthday, heard that Olie would be attending the Capitals Convention and demanded to go. During his appearance with fellow Capitals superhero, Peter Bondra, MacKenzie approached the microphone. She squeaked, “Are you still waiting for me, and can I have your autograph!?”
Olie responded, “Yes, I am still waiting for you and of course you can have my autograph.” Then he recounted to the audience the story I’ve just told you.
After all the tumult of his career’s end and the years that separated him from the fans of Washington, Olie remembered his biggest fan utterly.
Olaf Kolzig is a Vezina-winner goalie, a titan of the Washington Capitals franchise, and an accomplished philanthropist. But he also loves his fans as much as they love him. I know I’m not the first to say this, but the rafters of the Verizon Center would look awfully distinguished in the company of his numbers.