Update: A Caps spokesman has confirmed that there will be no convention this year.
It’s starting to look like last year’s cancellation of the popular annual Caps Convention may be permanent. Multiple season ticket holders have confirmed they’re hearing the same message from the front office: There will not be a convention, at least not this season.
That makes sense given the other evidence, notably that there hasn’t been an announcement on the convention from the team. The convention is traditionally held in late September or early October; if it were on this year, tickets would already be on sale if not sold out. The website for D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where CapsCon has been held since 2010, doesn’t list any Capitals events in the near future, either.
Photo: Chris Gordon
For the second time in three years, there will be no Caps Convention this summer. This time, ostensibly, the reason is so that the Caps can devote time and money toward preparations for the 2015 Winter Classic, which the Capitals will likely host at Nationals Park. The news was first reported by Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post.
“This season we are thrilled to be hosting the 2015 Bridgestone Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015, and have many exciting events and experiences planned around the event to help celebrate our fabulous fan base,” a Capitals spokesman told The Post in a statement. “Due to this big event, we will be focusing all of our efforts on the Winter Classic and will not hold a Caps Convention.”
Mike Green autographs a baby at last year’s Caps Con. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
The state of the Washington Capitals fan base is strong. Just this past weekend hundreds assembled for the team’s annual summer Fanfest, packing Kettler Capitals Iceplex on a July morning to watch to watch of bunch of teenagers and early 20-somethings play the final scrimmage of the team’s Development Camp. And while the Fanfest has become a big hit, the gathering many DC hockey fans eagerly await is the Capitals Convention, held during every pre-season for the past three years. Since its inception in 2009, Caps Con has grown into a huge event, with over 6,500 people making their way to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center a couple blocks away from Verizon Center last year. The event features panels with many Caps and NHL luminaries, autograph signings and over hockey-themed activities. But this year, however, Caps Con will not take place.
Photo credit: Chris Gordon
In addition to the Kids Press Conference hosted by Karl Alzner and John Carlson, I also attended the “I Made It To The NHL” panel at the Caps Convention on Saturday.
Dennis Wideman and Mathieu Perreault sat down for an hour and answered questions about what it was like to finally see their dreams of playing in the NHL come true. There were a lot of great moments. One such example was when Perry was told by a fan at the podium that there are group of ravenous Caps supporters out there that refer to him as “Perreaultcho-Cinco,” a nickname inspired by Patriots’ Wide Receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. Perreault, confused and honored all at the same time, responded with a huge grin and a shrug: “I don’t really follow football that much.” Sigh.
Dennis Wideman also shared many interesting stories from his career including the one day he roomed with Brooks Laich. Below the jump, check out some highlights from the panel courtesy of my flip cam.
Elliot Segal glares as Alex Ovechkin high-fives an invisible child.
The second annual Caps Convention was held this past Saturday at the Washington Convention Center. Along with the entire Washington Capitals roster, a number of prominent alumni made appearances, including Olie Kolzig, Peter Bondra, Yvon Labre, and Rod Langway. Fans got to meet and greet their favorite players, get autographs, and demand “Happy Birthday” be sung to them.
The event was a tremendous success. RMNB’s own Neil Greenberg was there to document the day. Enjoy!
At the Caps Convention today, there was a Kids Press Conference where Matt Bradley, Eric Fehr & Alex Ovechkin all took questions from young Caps Fans. The segment was adorable from the start, but it reached an epic level when a cute girl named MacKenzie took the mic. Her question for the players was, “Today is my birthday. Can Matt Bradley and Eric Fehr sing “Happy Birthday” to me in English? And can Ovi sing it to me in Russian?” Without hesitation, the guys started to sing. What a great birthday gift and what a great bunch of guys! Above, the video starts in the middle of Brads and Fehr’s rendition. Enjoy!
This is the first video I’ve seen where Semyon Varlamov has spoken in English, and boy is it adorable. In the advertisement above, Varly invites fans to come meet the team at the second annual Capitals Convention at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 2.
But there’s a bit more to this 15 second clip than Varly’s high-pitched english, manicured eyebrows and accompanying gold chain. It’s clear that Semyon is on a mission this year to change things up after missing most of last season with various groin and knee injuries. He returned back to DC more than a month and a half before training camp, changed his number to #1 (hint, hint Neuvy) & today started his own Russian language blog. Wuh oh. Somebody’s extra motivated.
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