elliot-antonetti-autograph-the-beard

Photo: @ajkais13

Earlier this week, Fedor wrote an article on Caps Development Camp invitee Eliot Antonietti. We highlighted the fact that Antonietti is a defenseman, Swiss, and really, really tall. Pretty tame stuff if you ask me.

The post instantly became one of our most read articles of the entire offseason, linked on both Puck Daddy and Reddit. Some are now calling Antonietti The Swiss Chara because of his massive height, while others, such as RMNB reader AJ Kaiser, are more fascinated with his majestic beard.

On Tuesday, Kaiser went to Development Camp and something special happened.

After Antonietti was finishing skating with his group, he walked with his teammates towards the locker room. That’s when the Caps fan, relegated behind a large metal fence, called the behemoth over for an autograph. Antonietti obliged. As the gentle giant approached, Kaiser told him how big of a fan he was of his beard and wondered if he could get a special inscription on his photo. This is what he got back.

Eliot Antonetti #75
The beard

Antonietti would later retweet Kaiser’s photo of the autograph on his Twitter account, which of course is adorned with a timeline photo of Hagrid from Harry Potter.

“Everybody ask me how long I grow it,” Antonietti said of his beard, when asked by The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt on Wednesday. “I never shave it down. I always go to the barber shop and he’s making me clean and stuff. I had a bet with a friend in Geneva and now – I like it! Now it’s part of my personality. When you say ‘Eliot,’ it’s always: ‘the big guy with the beard.’ It’s me.”

Prewitt had more about Antonietti in his blog Thursday, including this photo.

The Swiss speaking Antonietti also talked to the media about how he found his way in the United States for the first time in his life. “I just received an email from my agent that Washington wanted me to the camps,” he explained. Of the invite, he said, “it was good. I was happy. Maybe this is my chance. I’m going there and just make my best.”

Antonietti also described his style of game. “I’m tall,” which is not at all evident by looking at him. “I don’t play really tough, in Swiss we cannot fight. I already fight, but not too much. I play a lot offensive. I have good pass.”

Regardless of whatever happens to Antonietti after this week, he has become the breakaway star of the camp, merely by just being so towering, beard-y, and awesome. Seriously, watch this video. Try NOT to like him.

  • Simonezero

    This guy seems way awesome. Da beeg guy wid da beard.

  • Sarah

    Wow, asked about first impressions here: “It’s like Geneva… it’s really clean.” Good Lord, he’s already mastered the art of diplomacy. :D

  • SeminAllOverTheIce

    Swiss Chara? Nah, once he dons the red and being green (rookie) wouldnt he be the Swiss Chard?

    VEGGIE JOKE!

  • Sarah

    I mean, sure, that’s the view from my apartment, no really it is. Totally indistinguishable from Geneva.

  • ClarkWGriswold

    CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
    Green+Brouwer+Stephenson to Wings, Sheahan+Tatar to Caps. 2015-2016 2nd+Carrick traded to CHI for Oduya. Mojo+Ward trade for 2015-2016 picks
    FORWARDS
    Andre Burakovsky ($0.894m) / Nicklas Backstrom ($6.700m) / Alex Ovechkin ($9.538m)
    Evgeny Kuznetsov ($0.900m) / Riley Sheahan ($0.950m) / Tomas Tatar ($3.000m)
    Jason Chimera ($2.000m) / Brooks Laich ($4.500m) / Tom Wilson ($0.894m)
    Eric Fehr ($1.500m) / Jay Beagle ($0.900m) / Michael Latta ($0.575m)
    Aaron Volpatti ($0.575m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Matt Niskanen ($5.750m) / John Carlson ($3.967m)
    Brooks Orpik ($5.500m) / Johnny Oduya ($3.375m)
    Karl Alzner ($2.800m) / Dmitry Orlov ($2.000m)
    John Erskine ($1.963m) / Steven Oleksy ($0.542m)
    GOALTENDERS
    Braden Holtby ($1.850m)
    Justin Peters ($0.950m)
    BUYOUTS
    Jeff Schultz ($0.000m)
    BONUS OVERAGE
    $150,000
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $69,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,772,628; BONUSES: $2,325,000
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $7,227,372

  • Aaron Contic

    I’m curious to why we invited him to our camp. Do we see potential in his game and if we do, could we even sign him with already being in a contact with a foreign league? His bearded self would look fantastic in a big brown Hershey Bears jersey.

  • SeminAllOverTheIce

    Is this a roster submitted to make a run at McDavid?

  • SeminAllOverTheIce

    Caps Camp mentality: See a big guy, invite him to camp…hope he becomes the next Chara.

    Hasnt worked yet.

  • ClarkWGriswold

    Thomas tatar- 1st year in NHL 19G-20A. Riley Sheahan-21 year old that will be a legit 2C for years to come in NHL (why do you think on the Wings fans that want Green have been saying we will give you Helm or Weiss…). Johnny Oduya- Legit top 4 NHL Defender with only 1 year left. Gives another year for development for Schmitdt, Wey, Bowey. 7.2 million in cap room. Allows for a move at deadline and signing of Kuz next year. How do you see this at all as a “run at McDavid roster”. We are not going to be able to get a “Joe Thornton” or “Mike Richards” as everyone is calling for. We have to get a guy like Riley Sheahan which will be a 2C for years to come….

  • Chris Cerullo

    Can we sign him now? Dude is awesome.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    He said in the interview that he has an out-clause if any NHL team offers him a deal. I haven’t seen him skate yet, I will on Saturday, but I’m not sure there’d be room for him even in Hershey because of the Caps depth on defense right now. They have a lottta bodies right now. Maybe ECHL and the Stingrays if he’s decent?

  • Chris Cerullo

    Why are you posting this here? We get destroyed with the Wings deal. We could get Oduya for like a 3rd. Not going to deal Mojo and Ward for nothing either.

  • Austin

    I actually sort of agree with you

  • ClarkWGriswold

    Mojos time here has come and gone. Deal him for a draft pick and you will be smiling when he is playing in a swedish league in 3 years. Ward won’t be resigned next year because we need room for young guys and he’s getting old. Mine as well get a pick for him

  • DustinPenncakes

    I would rather see the Caps trade for Evander Kane and Mark Scheifele. If they could work out a deal you ship anyone in said deal to the western conference as well.

  • DustinPenncakes

    Or you know use him and trade him at the deadline if you don’t think you’ll be in the playoffs.

  • Sarah

    Well, Chara wasn’t Chara at 21. Inviting a guy to camp just because he’s 6’6″ would be silly, and I’m sure that’s not how it worked, but we can’t blow every guy off who hasn’t won the Norris yet. If I took that approach to dating I’d be saving myself for some Greek god with millions in the bank and a genius level IQ, and I’d die alone being eaten by Alsatians.
    At least if I do, it won’t be for that reason. ;)

  • DustinPenncakes

    Good to hear he has an out-clause if we do sign him, but like you said where would you play him.

  • Austin

    Lol your name is Dustin penncakes that’s awesome. But yea I would love to have Mark Sheifele Hes gold

  • SeminAllOverTheIce

    You’re making a huge assumption that Burakovsky is ready for the first line, let alone the NHL. The Caps org has said they like the way he’s developing and coming around…never once have said he’s ready. Entire second line is pretty much untested…could completely flop. 3rd line is terrible (Laich should be the first guy out the door). Spare cap room wouldnt be used at the deadline, so no point in banking it.

  • DustinPenncakes

    Thanks! All I heard about him was good things about his game is progressing last season until he went out with an injury. Plus his contract is a steal for the next two seasons.

  • Austin

    Well yea he’s still on an entry level deal lol. He’s the type of player you develope into a top 6 role he’s going to be a solid 2C IMO

  • ClarkWGriswold

    Sounds like you haven’t grapsed the winning model that you have to have your experienced core surrounded by good, young cheap talent. (ex: Kings, Blackhawks, Bruins, Red Wings…..)

  • Dan Curry

    Brings back memories…playoff beard, 2011. A picture is all that remains.

  • ClarkWGriswold

    The way I see it. The caps would ask more than just Riley Sheehan for Green due to the limited right hand OFD market. Thats where they look for a young very skilled player in Tatar, but then that becomes a lopsided trade in which the caps win big, so if you throw Brouwer in there it works. But being a RW still creates a logjam so then you move Wardo for Wilson to play 3rd line (which unless he has a stellar season i think is going to be his spot in the NHL unfortunately)

  • DustinPenncakes

    You still have to develop those young guys and if you skip on their development you end up with players like Mojo. The cheap talent your example teams use are all 21+ and have played on winning teams down in the AHL. That’s what makes those franchises so successful.

  • DustinPenncakes

    Oh I completely agree. He has a solid two way game and he’ll only get better imo.

  • ClarkWGriswold

    Sheahan and Tatar are developed and NHL ready. That is what the Red WIngs do. They develop more than anyone. I could be wrong with Burakovsky maybe he isnt NHL ready. But if he isn’t you could still use Ward or Mojo on 1st line and then trade the other for a pick

  • GetchaGrubbOn

    “not sure there’d be room…because of the Caps depth on defense”

    who’da thunk?

  • Austin

    I completely agree with you about surrounding your top core with young talent, a great example is Anaheim. Sure they lost in the Semis but they were playing the damn Kings. After Getzlaf and Perry they have like solid but not amazing forwards/players like MP85 Kyle palmeri Devante Smith Pelly sure they had Teemu but you really just need hard working players who buy into the system, as well as some good skill but DEFENSE wins championships in any sport.

  • DustinPenncakes

    We’ve had pretty good depth in our system for a while. The problem is those guys being able to jump up and play significant time in the NHL.

  • Austin

    That is true as well. Some of the best players like Gustav Nyquist played and developed in the AHL and now he looks like a steal for the Red Wings

  • DustinPenncakes

    I totally agree. The only reason the Caps should trade Mojo is if they’re using him in a deal to upgrade the 1LW spot. Trading him away for picks does no good now, you’re losing a roster spot, and clearing up cap space for no real reason.

  • tpr04

    Bowey is the highest rated D-man in our system, probably followed by Carrick and Schmidt. I don’t think any of them are a lock for a top 4, though Bowey is highly regarded.

    Doesn’t hurt to add to whatever depth we have organizationally. You can always trade prospects to fill other needs.

  • DustinPenncakes

    Oh I agree about adding depth it’s just a matter of where do you start playing guys. Right now for Hershey next season you’ll have Carrick, Wey, Kundratek, Oleksy, Landry, Moore, and Schilling/Schmidt if they re-sign.

  • tpr04

    Yeah, there is a numbers crunch. Green and Erskine are in the last year of their contracts and there have been trade rumors about Green. I believe Carrick, Wey, and Bowey are all RH and Schmidt is leftie.

    So, I assume at least two of these guys will be coming up to the Caps this season or next. Bowey is 1-2 seasons away. I think Wey would be a better match right now with Orlov than Carrick. Of all of the ones I saw last year, I liked Schmidt the best.

    Good problems to have.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Burakovsky is NHL ready now. It’s really – what makes the best sense for him at this age and how many openings will there be come opening night.

  • tpr04

    I’d rather see him at Hershey for a stint before deeming him ready now.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    His junior coach said the same thing about him being NHL ready.

    NHL ready means – he’s good enough to play in the NHL right now and is ready for that challenge. For a lot of top tier prospects it’s one year in junior or their European teams after the draft, for others – it’s a little bit longer. Marcus Johansson did one year, Backstrom did one year. They were fine.

    The question that’s more quintessential Is: are the Caps ready to develop him in the NHL, do they have the roster space/minutes available for him to grow, and will Burakovsky himself prove he’s worthy in training camp?

  • Luke Anthony

    Please sign him, the kid is absolutely hilarious.

  • Amykins

    “I haven’t seen him skate yet, I will on Staurday…” Will there be RMNB Fan Fest activities, or will you all be “working”?

  • Myan

    I’m at the scrimmage at KCI right now. Any fellow RMNBers here?

  • Graham Dumas

    Dudes, what language is “Swiss”?

    Sorry. Language Troll.

  • Sarah

    Lol, you found the “Where’s Waldo” typo in every RMNB post! I call cut and paste error for Swiss French or something. They looked at his Twitter account, which is pretty clearly in French, so I think the boys know what language he speaks.
    If not, we’ll tease them mercilessly. ;)

  • Graham Dumas

    I really wanted to find that Archer clip where he’s talking about learning “Swiss,” but for whatever reason, could not.

  • Sarah

    No idea, but this made me laugh. Not embarrassing for Americans at all, nosirreebob!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nECO1gjiJo

  • Graham Dumas

    Beardy’s favorite song is Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romansh”

  • Sarah

    As a Texas basketball fan (Dallas > San Antonio > Houston) I’m used to “Fear the Beard.”
    It’s only a matter of time here.

  • Sarah

    Blurgh, you type that deliberately and you troll the guys for leaving a word out of a sentence? That’s like Lady Gaga criticizing Ian’s Orioles shirt. In a meat dress. Argh no no no no no….

  • Fedor

    Nope, Nathan Walker rule.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Ah he was eligible last draft?

  • Luke Anthony

    Walker was only draft eligible twice when Caps couldn’t sign him, this kid has been draft eligible 4 times I believe. At what point can we sign him?

  • Fedor

    Should be 22 or older. Means Caps can sign him next year. Unlike Walker though, he can’t be “stolen” at the next Draft, he’s too old for the next Draft.

  • Luke Anthony

    You think Caps try to bring him over to Hershey or South Carolina? He said he has out clauses and wants to try playing in NA.

  • Fedor

    I’d like to see them try.

  • Diller M

    all that wheeling and dealing and you kept Volpatti?! VOLPATTI?! Gross.

  • Eric Jones

    The Swiss-quatch has been spotted!

  • Graham Dumas

    That’s brilliant, and you know it. Also–and this is a key distinction here–mine was intentional. Theirs was, err, not. So TROLOLO!

  • Sarah

    Dude, if I made
    a) a pun that bad, referencing
    b) a song that awful,
    I would be friggin’ BEGGING everybody to believe my cat had stepped on the keyboard, or to accept an insanity defense or something.
    Which I’m sure in my case they’d have no trouble believing.

  • ClarkWGriswold

    no one is going to want him…..let him eat nachos in the pressbox all season plus hes a low cap hit. lets a guy like brown get good min in Hershey.

  • Conan

    I saw him play this morning (Friday) and he looked decent. He dangled once or twice, which was awesome.