Photo credit: Chris Gordon

On Saturday, the Washington Capitals hosted their third annual Capitals Convention. A sold-out crowd of over 6,000 fans descended on the spacious confines of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to get autographs, pose for photos, and have questions answered by their favorite players.

Ted Leonsis, a mastermind behind the yearly event, was ecstatic for the turn-out. “That we’re able to sell out everything we touch really shows how wonderful the fan support is and my goal is to build a team as good as our fan base,” he said.

And really. What’s not to love? There were so many great moments. A few of our favorites: the Knuble’s Knights got knighted by GM George McPhee, Brooks Laich’s mom Jane participated in “The Support it Takes to Make it to the NHL” panel, and Braden Holtby and Jay Beagle played floor hockey with some kids. And oh yeah, this too.

“Hockey players are so approachable,” Bruce Boudreau said. “They could be walking amongst [the crowd] and they’ll sit down and talk to you. I think it means a lot to [the fans] that they are so human.”

Below are my pictures of from the day including Alex Ovechkin giving out some free hugs, Mike Green signing a baby, and a lot of smiling players — and when I mean a lot, I’m talking some sort of world record.

(All photos by Chris Gordon — Click to enlarge)

 Ted Leonsis answers questions from fans.

NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan reacts to Matt Cooke’s latest hit?

 Dennis Wideman during the “I Made it to the NHL” panel with Mathieu Perreault.

 Troy Brouwer smiles during his panel on what it is like joining a new team.

 Mike Knuble and his son during #22’s autograph session.

 Jeff Halpern signs a guitar for a young fan.

Troy Brouwer signs an autograph.

 Michal Neuvirth signs for fans.

 Karl Alzner speaks during the Kids Press Conference, an annual highlight.

John Carlson laughs during the panel.

Alex Ovechkin hugs a fan. 

Ovi signs an ol’ ESPN The Mag for our own Rachel Cohen.

 Jason Chimera signs an autograph for a young fan.

A baby is probably not the oddest thing Mike Green has signed.

New Caps radio voice John Walton interviews new assistant goalie coach Olie Kolzig.

  • DarkStranger

    While you didn’t post that image here, Eakin and Laich also played in the “Drop In Hockey” with the kids — at a later time than Holtby and immediately prior to their autograph session.  From what I could see, Eakin was in there for a long time and must have been joined by Brookie.  (I had earlier seen Holtby in there.  Didn’t realized Beagle was in there, too.

  • Hockey Mom

    What great pictures – one of the reasons we love hockey. These players are so approachable and truly seem to love interacting with the fans. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sharon

    I saw Semin give a teenage girl a big hug when she said it was her birthday.  He was in the area that had kids board games and played for quite a while with the kids there.  He also signed a number of autographs for people standing there, including my shirt.  He looked like he was having a lot of fun.  It was good to see.

  • Shoquan1

    Hockey players are very friendly and open to fans.I love that.

  • I’m so glad this year I was able to form a coherent sentence to Ovie, instead of “ASKADLJSLAKADSJKF I DREW THIS.”

  • I’m so glad this year I was able to form a coherent sentence to Ovie, instead of “ASKADLJSLAKADSJKF I DREW THIS.”