The 2015-16 Washington Capitals were terrific. They soared with a great power play, the league’s best goal-scorer, some talented young players, and the best record in the land. But the shining star of that team was the fella in net, Vezina winner Braden Holtby.
Before Tuesday’s game — a game in which Holtby’s back-up recorded his first big-league shutout– the Washington Capitals and their fans finally got to thank Holtby for a very special season.
During the World Cup of Hockey, Braden Holtby rocked a tribute mask painted to honor Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie. Earlier in the year, the Canadian icon was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a terminal brain tumor. During the tournament, Holtby decided to auction off the mask to raise money for two of Downie’s most treasured charities.
On Tuesday, the NHLPA announced that Holtby’s mask, which he commissioned himself, raised $21,650 (or $28,380.88 if you convert the US money into Canadian dollars).
The money will benefit the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research and the Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation.
“Like so many others, I have been truly inspired by the courage Gord Downie has shown, and I was very appreciative that he embraced the design of my Team Canada goalie mask,” Holtby said in the release. “I am very proud to have been a part of supporting these two important funds in Mr. Downie’s honor, and I appreciate everyone’s help in making this auction a success.”
Braden Holtby was Braden Holtbest last season. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan product became the third Capitals goaltender to win the Vezina Trophy, joining Jim Carey (1995-96) and Olie Kolzig (1999-00). Holtby also tied Martin Brodeur’s single season win record of 48.
During a pregame ceremony before Washington’s game against the Avalanche on Tuesday, Holtby will given a gift from the Capitals while all fans in attendance will receive a Holtby banner. You know what would be cooler? A brick with Holtby’s face imprinted on it.
The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
Only a few hours remain until the puck drops for the Capitals’ first game of the regular season. After their most recent second-round playoff exit, a summer of speculation ensued. The most nebulous question: How does this team
finally make a deep playoff run?
While there’s no definite answer, RMNB’s own Pat Holden, Elyse Bailey, Spenser Smallwood, and Chris Cerullo sought to answer a few questions I posed about the Caps’ chances at a Cup. See what they have to say, and, as always, feel free to argue with them in the comments.
During the World Cup of Hockey, Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby did a modeling gig with GOTSTYLE, a Toronto-based retail store.
Not only did Holtby try on a few suits and t-shirts for the brand, he also answered 20 questions for the company’s YouTube channel. In the video, we learn that Holtby’s celebrity man crush is Derek Jeter and that his biggest weakness, among “many,” is that “I’m not very socially outgoing.”
Holtby also can’t help but laugh after he names his favorite post-game meal. “I can’t usually eat after games so I go straight to the wine usually.”
Now that the Capitals have figured out their 2016-17 opening night roster, the team conducted their final photo shoots for the Caps Canine Calendar, Monday afternoon.
Caps stars Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Nicklas Backstrom dispersed across several different tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. — the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the DC War Memorial respectively — to take some adorable shots with puppies.
The calendar, which goes on sale on November 18 and benefits Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, is being photographed by Taylor Winnik, the wife of fourth-line winger, Daniel Winnik.
Next Thursday, the Washington Capitals will open the season in Pittsburgh. After being eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Penguins in six games, the Capitals will be present as Pittsburgh hosts their banner raising that night. On Wednesday, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby downplayed that significance during an interview with DC101’s Elliot in the Morning.
“Yeah, it’s just another game,” Holtby said. “We’re gonna prepare a bit next week to be ready for Game 1.”
The reigning Vezina Trophy also spoke about being back in DC, his experience with Team Canada during the World Cup, and the So Kids Can Play starting lineup fundraiser.
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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