These Caps Fans Baked Dale Hunter’s Cookies

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This guest post comes from reader Nicole (seen in the center of the photo), who was kind enough to reach out to us after trying one of the recipes from the 90s Capital Cuisine cookbook we featured recently. Thanks, Nicole!

If I had to choose, I’d pick my three top passions in life as baking, hockey, and writing. I’ve been baking and writing as long as I could hold the proper tools, but hockey is a much more recent interest. A friend of mine in high school got me hooked on the Caps during the 2012 playoff series against the Bruins. I cite Joel Ward’s game Seven overtime goal as the exact moment I became a hockey fan. I discovered RMNB not long afterward, and I’ve been a reader and commenter ever since.

As an English major in her junior year of college, it’s not hard to keep up with writing, but hockey and baking require a little more conscious effort. I had been meaning to make something from the Capital Cuisine Cookbook since the post was originally made, but moving back into college and starting a new semester got in the way of things. I was able to conjure up the ingredients I needed for Dale Hunter’s Hermit Cookies, but each day I arrived home exhausted and with assignments I had to prioritize over baking. However, on the night of the game against the Blue Jackets, with nothing due immediately the next day, I decided that it seemed as good a time as any to try out the recipe. After six hours of classes, I figured I needed something to take my mind off of things for a while. Hockey and baking sounded like just the trick.

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Another Culinary Hockey Nostalgia Bomb: Capital Cuisine

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Photos: John F.

Earlier this month, we introduced you to the Hartford Whalers 1990-91 cookbook, a Christmas gift given to comedian John Hodgman. When reader John F. saw that story, he was kind enough to to send us another hockey cookbook from his own collection: Capital Cuisine.

Like the Hartford cookbook, Capital Cuisine looks to have been printed around 1992. Apparently “Hockey Dudes Cooking Foods” was a trend back then (a quick Google search shows that Philadelphia and Vancouver also published similar projects).

This cookbook gets everyone in on the action, from the players to the front office, and even then-owner Abe Pollin. Let’s take a closer look and see what these former Caps cooked up.

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Elliotte Friedman is one of the most connected and respected journalists in hockey. On Friday morning, Friedman released his latest 30 Thoughts article, in which he  expounded on why the Patrick Sharp trade never materialized.

The short answer: Joel Ward.

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On Wednesday, the Washington Capitals published a guide for the upcoming NHL draft (June 27th), and it is awesome. One thing that I learned is that the Caps have historically been active on draft day. The team has made 20 draft day trades overall, including one in each of the past six years. The most notable moves lately have been the acquisitions of Troy “No Emmy” Brouwer and Mike “2 Chainz” Ribeiro.

If you take a fine-toothed comb to that list, one stunning factoid reveals itself. The Caps have essentially traded away two hall of fame players in draft day deals and gotten none in return.

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McPhee (7 of 14)

Photo: Chris Gordon

After this season, with the futures of Adam Oates and George McPhee in doubt, many wondered what the relationship was like between the two men. There was good reason to. During Oates’s administration, McPhee made two major offensive acquisitions: Dustin Penner and Martin Erat. While McPhee talked up both players as top-six powerhouses, Oates never gave them significant minutes on the top two lines. During his final press conference as the Capitals general manager, McPhee declined to talk about whether there was a row with Oates.

“I don’t want to talk about individuals because when you do that you either miss somebody that you should be praising and people get upset, and I just would rather have a happy day and duck individual talk,” McPhee said, adding later that Oates’s firing “was unfortunate for Adam because it was a short tenure.”

However, McPhee heaped praise on Bruce Boudreau, a coach he personally fired, and Dale Hunter, whose departure led to Oates’s hiring.

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Photo credit: Matt Slocum

When Peter Laviolette was panic-fired Monday morning for his team shooting 2.4% through three games at even strength, I laughed. Then I thought about the five-year contract they gave Vincent Lecavalier over the offseason, and I laughed some more. Then I thought about how they traded Vezina-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky one season and then bought out Ilya Bryzgalov the next, choosing to pay the Russian $23 million over the next 14 years not to play, tears started rolling down my face. Paul HoLOLmgren, you are teh best.

Once I got past that (it was difficult), I was quite happy for long-time Washington Capitals enforcer Craig Berube, who was named the Flyers’ new head coach (Not interim!).

Berube becomes the third player from the Capitals’ 1997-98 Stanley Cup Final team to become a head coach in the NHL joining former Capital captains Dale Hunter and Adam Oates. With former Caps’ 98 Cup Final players Calle Johansson and Olie Kolzig serving as assistants in Washington (Kolzig is goaltending coach), I wondered how many other players from that very-talented, overachieving team are now coaching in hockey.

The number is staggering.

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Photo credit: Plymouth Whalers

Washington Capitals first-round pick Tom Wilson put up another impressive playoff performance. In game two against regular-season champions the London Knights, Wilson scored three goals and added an assist (unofficially as of right now) as his team won 4-3 in double overtime.

Potential 2013 first-rounder Bo Horvat opened the scoring after winning a puck battle in the corner, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead that they preserved until the end of the first period. Wilson tied the game in the second, holding his stick behind his back to score a wild deflection goal.

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Olie Kolzig

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

Olie Kolzig is remembered as the greatest goalie in Capitals history. A staple in Washington’s net for over a decade, Kolzig led the team to their only Stanley Cup Finals appearance and became one of the franchise’s most beloved players. These days Kolzig has a different role. In his second year as associate goaltending coach, Kolzig spends his time mentoring the club’s young netminders in both minor leagues. The influence of a veteran has apparently rubbed off on the players– Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth recently added the German goalie’s likeness to his mask, a gesture Kolzig deeply appreciated.

On Sunday, I spoke on the phone with Olie The Goalie, who was in Hershey scouting the Bears game. As the NHL season approached, Kolzig gave me his thoughts on the Caps goalie duo, the distractions Braden Holtby faced last season, and what he sees next for Alex Ovechkin. He even told me what he thought of Tom Poti‘s return to hockey and what that could mean for the organization.

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This is a Garage League and Other Lockout Lessons

Ted Leonsis

I guess it’s appropriate to start by saying that we’re all unimaginably happy about the return of hockey. That said, we’ve learned a lot over the four-month lockout, and this seems like the appropriate time to take stock.

Lesson 1: Mario Lemieux was right

The NHL is a garage league. I’m not talking about riff-raff players spoiling up the staid finesse hockey of a bygone era; I’m talking about business competence. Since my adolescence, the NHL has lost part or all of three seasons. Fans who have been following hockey for a decade have seen 20% of that time obscured or obliterated by lockouts.

Imagine running a business where you do work 80% of the time. The rest of the time you’re struggling to master a skill most functionally social humans learn in kindergarten: sharing. Your business plan is flawed.

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We’ve been through this before. No matter how poor I am, my frugal instincts go out the window when Washington Capitals treasures are unearthed online. So that’s why on eBay last week, I shelled out even more cash on some vintage postcards depicting two iconic Capitals in all their early 80s glory.

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