On January 17, 2013, In Interview, By Chris Gordon
Alzner, left, seen here not tweeting. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)
The NHL lockout caused many casualties. Games, fans — all lost to the sport for years to come. No loss, however, was bigger than Karl Alzner‘s Twitter account. After some tense exchanges with fans on the site in early December, Alzner deleted his profile. It had been a wild ride. Washington’s number 27 brought pictures of his dogs and the living room they destroyed. He tweeted pictures of his dogs. And sometimes even his dogs.
“I told him to grow up,” fellow Twitter user Joel Ward (@JRandalWard42) told RMNB’s Ian Oland when asked about the disappearance. “I hope I can get some of his followers on my team.”
Peter said it best a few weeks ago. RMNB has zero interest in covering the actual lockout. “Financial negotiations (and their public face) are all about posturing, tedium, and equivocation,” he said. “Whereas our principal interest in hockey has always been scoar, moar, and goals.” We have gone to great lengths to cover hockey and try to make things fun as possible while patiently waiting for the NHL to end the madness.
But now that Washington Capitals players are bickering with each other through the media, we feel compelled.
With the lockout a little over a month old, Karl Alzner‘s dog Murphy decided to show the type of free-thinking and ingenuity that will be needed to end the NHL’s labor dispute. Presumably using his paws, Murphy jimmied the crate door open (again) and left his calling card on the carpet.
Sam Jacobson, a 16-year-old lymphoma survivor, had his wish come true when he spent two days with the Capitals and his hockey hero, Alexander Ovechkin. The Make-a-Wish Foundation set up the experience for Jacobson, who played on his hockey team during his recovery from lymphoma.
He spent two days with the Capitals, starting with a tour of the practice facility and locker room on March 7 of last year. Jacobson was given had his own stall stocked with hockey equipment donated by Bauer. After suiting up, he ended the day by skating with Ovechkin, Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera, and other players after practice. On top of that, Sam attended two Caps home games and spent some time with Ovechkin after the games in the locker room.
A month ago, as Alzner and his fiancee Mandy left for Game Three against the Rangers, they decided to leave their dogs out of their crate for the night. Of course, that was the night that the game went into triple overtime, and when the two returned at 2 AM, their dogs Charlie, Murphy, and Duncan had trashed their home.
[Ed. note: This summer, RMNB will review each Washington Capitals player. We will discuss each roster player by the standards we deem important, such as statistical performance and alternate-universe superhero identity. Enjoy.]
There was no sophomore slump for Karl Alzner. The Caps’ young stud defenseman continued to play big minutes in all situations and keep a level head while doing so. Sure, he made a few mistakes this season. Perhaps three and a half mistakes, but he has to do that, so that people don’t catch onto the fact that he’s perfect.
We try to read lips, but it’s not easy to know what our Capitals are saying. Not unless a HBO crew is following them, or they’re within earshot of Pierre McGuire.
Luckily, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Mike Knuble, and Matt Hendricks got mic’d up for the second round of the playoffs. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Rangers vs. Caps. Tears and swear words not included.
There were a few common themes to the Capitals’ last postseason interviews, before they went their separate ways for summer. The first question posed was always about Dale Hunter, who has made the decision to return to the London Knights franchise in Ontario rather than stay on to coach the Caps. The team expressed universal admiration and gratitude for what he brought to the Capitals in his short tenure, often focusing less on his system than on the character and sense of accountability he was able to instill.
There was clear disappointment at the early ending to the season, but a different tone to the team’s assessment of their year than the year before — many of the Caps mentioned that they thought they were able to go out in a way that they feel better about this year, though of course they’d all still rather be playing hockey.
Read on for the details of Jay Beagle‘s injury, Brooks Laich standing outside Hunter’s window holding a boombox, and Hunter’s odd career model for Alexander Ovechkin.
Dale Hunter played 872 games as a Washington Capitals player. He lasted just 74 behind the team’s bench.
“When I retired as a hockey player I had to retire because I was not that good anymore,” Hunter said with a laugh at his final press conference at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “But this was a tough decision.”
Hunter’s choice was not easy to make. But the reasons that ultimately lead him to make the determination seem clear. The 51-year-old former Caps captain is heading back to London, Ontario to rejoin his family and his empire. There, he co-owns the OHL’s London Knights with his brother Mark. The siblings run everything. Before taking over as Washington’s bench boss, he served as the junior club’s general manager and head coach, positions that his brother assumed in November. The team finished this season with a 49-18-1 record, winning the OHL championship. They now have a chance to take home the biggest prize in juniors, the Memorial Cup.
“I’m going home,” Hunter said Monday. “I’ve got a good thing going at home there and I’ll stay there.”