Bondra scores late in the game. (Photos by Chris Gordon)
This year’s NHL Winter Classic has not had much buildup. Aside from the game, there isn’t much going on. The lack of an official alumni game — which had become a tradition at Winter Classics — angered and vexed many fans. Washington cancelled this year’s Caps Convention, saying they wanted to focus on Winter Classic events and has been hyping its former players all year long, with this season being the team’s fortieth anniversary. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, and Caps owner Ted Leonsis have all given competing answers as to why the event didn’t occur. Nevertheless, a group of former Caps, media members, and As Seen on TV people like NBC’s Washington Amelia Segal, took to the Nationals Park ice on Tuesday afternoon as part of an informal skate that came together in the past few weeks.
“I guess we all unfairly assumed that there would be one,” Alan May, who played in the game, said of an official alumni game, noting that Rod Langway and numerous former Blackhawks and Capitals expressed interest. “There’s nothing that can be done about it.”
While there will be no Alumni Game at the Winter Classic this year, more than a dozen former Caps will participate in a fan reception and open house at the Hilton Garden Inn on New Year’s Eve. That’s good news. According to The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, several big names will be in attendance, including Hall of Famer Rod Langway and CSN analyst Alan May.
We did some digging and a source tell us that HOF’er Larry Murphy, CSN’s Craig Laughlin, former 60-goal scorer Dennis Maruk, Al Jensen, Kevin Kaminski, Dave Christian, and others will also be there to hang out with fans.
The event is free of charge and open to the public, though you are encouraged to RSVP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will last from 5 until 8 PM on the 31st. The hotel is located at 815 14th Street N.W.
I’d go just to dominate Alan May at table top hockey, but that’s just me.
Saturday at Harry Grove Stadium was Hockey Day. The Frederick Keys staff wore hockey gear (I’m wagging my finger at you, girl in Malkin shirsey), and two former Washington Capitals, Craig Laughlin and Alan May, threw out the ceremonial first pitches and signed autographs for fans on the concourse.
Before the first pitches were thrown, however, there was some intrigue.
The night before, during the Caps telecast, Laughlin promised to CSN Washington’s Joe Beninati that he would zing the ball into home plate going “105.”
Let’s goooooo to the videotape.
We’ve let Ian have the fun long enough. He’s played video games with Tom Wilson and poured “wine” over his head with Olie Kolzig. For Russian Machine’s third CRL segment, I was determined to bring some respectability back to the blog. And what’s more respectable than a four figure suit.
As you guys know, we’ve been tracking Joe B.’s suit of the night for years. We have an unhealthy obsession with how the guy looks. Thankfully, Joe B. wasn’t creeped out too much.
Two weeks ago, I joined Beninati and Alan May at DePandi, his tailor’s shop in Chevy Chase. Joe B. brought along a number of his favorite suits to show us, as well as a few to try on me. Yeah, I got dressed by Joe Beninati. Be jealous.
Swag. (GIFs by welshhockeyfan)
Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy had one hell of a night (which Chris Gordon wrote about in more detail here). Oleksy earned a second period assist on one sick dangle and then later got in a fight with Brandon Dubinsky in the third. While he didn’t necessarily win the bout, it’s what he did during it that earns him some bonus swag points from RMNB.
While Alex Ovechkin is easily the most celebrated player on the Washington Capitals, someone else was the star of Caps Con.
Everyone say hi to Ovie the Bulldog.
On the top floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ovie’s human parents, Mike and Kim Robertson, set up shop with their leashed and well-behaved pup, greeting Caps fans on their way down to the convention. He made lots of friends.
When Zach Parise and Ryan Suter agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild for $98 million each on Independence Day, former Capital Alan May was more impressed by their signing bonuses.
Parise and Suter were given $25 million each just for signing their names on the line which is dotted, a number made even more staggering by May after he tweeted what things were like back in his day.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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