After becoming a shootout hero in the Olympics, TJ Oshie has become the National Hockey League player most synonymous with America. So it was only appropriate that on the United States’ 240th birthday, the Capitals winger wished the hockey world a “happy fourth.”
To do so, Oshie posted a personal photo of his locker stall from the Sochi Olympics.
Photos: Amanda Bowen
The Washington Capitals hosted their annual development camp for prospects two weeks earlier this year – arguably the busiest week of the offseason – to better accommodate prospects’ demanding schedules over the summer.
Three days after the 2016 NHL Draft, Caps prospects, which included the likes of top prospects Madison Bowey and Riley Barber as well as every pick from the 2015 and 2016 drafts, took the ice. The prospects learned system play and did drills to allow the front office to evaluate their skills and get baseline numbers. The prospects also participated in off-ice programs to learn what it takes to be a professional in the league. There was also a team-building rowing event held near Georgetown.
Lost in the headlines of qualifying offers, huge trades, and the first day of free agency, talented 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov made his Caps debut, working feverishly with legendary goalie coach Mitch Korn. “[Camp] was really hard,” Samsonov said through a translator. “So many shots.” Forward Stan Galiev even made an appearance several days to help translate. Over the next year, the culture-shocked Samsonov, who only knows a handful of English words, will Skype once a week with Barry Trotz’s son Tyson, to better learn the language and communicate with coaches.
On Saturday, Caps Development Camp concluded with a scrimmage in front of a mostly full Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where Team White picked up a fun, but insignificant win.
That’s because, as the prospects know all too well, the real games and real tests are to come. Only a handful will suit up for the Washington Capitals someday.
Below are my photos from every day this week.
Photo: Washington Capitals
On Wednesday night, some of the best players in Capitals history (and Alan May) participated in the 2016 Caps Alumni Game to conclude Fanfest. Capitals greats Olie Kolzig, Denis Maruk, and Craig Laughlin joined fan favorites like Kevin Kaminski, and Matt Bradley, and Brent Johnson for a spirited game in front of a mostly full Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Former YoungStars Game MVP Brian Sutherby won the exhibition for Team White in a shootout.
The Washington Capitals opened their 2016 Development Camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. Beyond Ilya Samsonov making his Caps debut, the day was rather uneventful, serving mostly as a warmup for a busy week ahead.
The morning session was split between forwards (white) on one rink and defense (red) on the other. There were more drills in the afternoon, none of which were too intense. It gave the the players a chance to bond and get to know each other better. (And also avoid getting caught as the first player off.)
Lucas poses with his brother Ryan. (Photo: @Capitals)
The Washington Capitals selected left-handed defenseman Lucas Johansen with their first round pick Friday night. After being introduced on stage and taking photos with Caps management, Johansen met with the NHL press for the first time. He called being drafted “the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
Lucas talked at length about his brother Ryan, a center with the Nashville Predators, during his press conference. Lucas even credited the 2015 NHL All Star Game MVP as the reason why he decided to be a defender.
This morning, many of you might have woken up to something jarring when you turned on your phone and checked Instagram. Caps’ “shy, little, cute guy” Andre Burakovsky posted a photo of himself dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for Midsummer 2016.
Let’s go ahead and zoom here.
Photo: Chris Gordon
Brett “Stretch” Leonhardt (he’s tall) has lived an eventful hockey life. Originally a producer and videographer for the Capitals’ website — and occasional Verizon Center DJ — he became known throughout the hockey world when he served as an emergency goaltender for a game in December 2008.
After Jose Theodore injured himself during a pregame skate, Stretch signed an amateur tryout agreement before the Caps faced the Ottawa Senators. Leonhardt later left DC for a job in the NHL’s war room in Toronto before coming back as Washington’s video coach in 2012. In 2013, Leonhardt, a former junior hockey and NCAA Division III goaltender, once again served as a backup, preforming his usual video editing duties during the intermissions.
Now, he’s added a notch in his storied career: wearer of absurd Barry Trotz themed socks.
Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby arrived in Las Vegas today to prepare for the NHL Awards where he is the odds-on favorite to win the Vezina Trophy. Holtby spent the afternoon doing
a marketing event red carpet prep, visiting John Vavartos to pick out the suit he will wear during one of the biggest moments of his career.
Academy Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. was at SAP Center Sunday to root on his San Jose Sharks. During a pre-game interview with NBCSN’s Jeremy Roenick, the noted hockey fan cursed on live TV when asked about the Sharks gameplan.
“You know what they gotta do,” Gooding Jr. said. “They gotta f*ckin’ bring it to ’em!”
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