To All the Caps I’ve Loved Before

goodbye

There’s really no need to read this piece. Your life will be no better for having read what’s below. Your life might actually get worse. You should probably stop right now.

(Last chance.)

So the Caps have freed some players over the last few years, and it feels like all of them have turned into beautiful hockey butterflies. The team had good reasons to trade or release some guys; others… not so much. In this still very young season, those hockey butterflies are playing so good it’s like they’re trying to make you jealous. Well, it’s not going to work, hockey butterflies.

Okay, yeah, it is.

I’m gonna take a peek around the league, in a totally non-Facebook-stalker-y way, just to see how certain ex-Caps forwards are doing in their new homes. Pretty freaking well, it turns out. Starting with prospect-bust-turned-Calder-standout Filip Forsberg, lemme run down who has moved on and how they’re doing.

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For three seasons, Matt Hendricks gave his heart and soul to the Washington Capitals. There were big hits, paralyzing shootout goals, and fights. Lots and lots of fights. When Hendricks’ contract ran out in 2013, he signed a new one, a large one, with Nashville– then bounced around until he found a home in Edmonton.

On Wednesday, in what was the weirdest moment of the night so far, Hendricks checked two (2!) guys at the same time, Michael Latta and an Edmonton teammate. Hendricks was then forced to drop the gloves with first-year Caps forward Liam O’Brien.

Perhaps an awkward moment for Caps fans?

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Photo credit: Mark Humphrey

On Saturday night, former Washington Capitals grinder Matt Hendricks finally got his first opportunity in the shootout with his new team. He did not score.

Hendy even tried his patented move, the Paralyzer. Unfortunately for him, Steve Mason read the scouting report and made an unbelievable save.

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SOON. (Photo credit: Christian Petersen)

File under news you wish you didn’t know, former Washington Capitals grinder/enforcer/paralyzer Matt Hendricks scored his first goal with his new team, the Nashville Predators, last night. Let’s just say the goal was more Ovi-esque than Hendy-ish.

As Hendricks’ skated the puck into the Coyotes’ zone, he decided – aw, what the hell - and went on a 1-on-2 like his boy Alexander Ovechkin used to do. Instead of getting fancy with the puck, Hendy just threw a good ol’ fashioned wristshot on the net. And he scored. Because why not.

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Steve Oleksy Nearly Fights His “Mentor” Matt Hendricks

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Steve Oleksy tangles with Mike Fisher during Thursday’s game. (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)

During Saturday’s Caps convention Steve Oleksy joked that he wore “black and blue like accessories.” It didn’t take long for Steve to bring back his trademark look.

Towards the end of the second period in Wednesday’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators, Oleksy got tangled up near the net with Mike Fisher. The two exchanged words, and soon Oleksy was pummeling the Preds star. The Washington defenseman easily won the bout, though the right side of his face was bulging out like a boulder was jammed underneath his cheek.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason or regular season,” Oleksy told reporters after the game. “That’s part of my job, that’s part of the reason I’m here. It doesn’t matter who it is, I’m gonna try and hold people accountable.” Continue Reading

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Gets ya right in teh feels.

All you Matt Hendricks superfans out there, I ask that you please turn away, X out your browser, and retreat to your doomsday bunkers because this is the extinction-level event you’ve been prepping for. Former Washington Capitals grinder Matt Hendricks did an interview with the Nashville Predators in his new mustard yellow jersey. All of a sudden, it’s real.

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Attaboy. (Photo credit: Elsa)

George McPhee doesn’t tip his hand often, but during an interview with DC101’s Elliot In the Morning last week, the man some call The Undertaker revealed his softer, less-cage-matchy side when he discussed Matt Hendricks’ new four-year, $7.4-million deal with the Nashville Predators.

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Hendy signs his new four-year contract with Nashville. (Photo credit: @MattHendy26)

Matt “The Wagon” Hendricks has signed a four-year contract with the Nashville Predators for $1.85 million a year. That’s quite a payday for a grinder who three years ago had an uncertain future in the big league. Back in 2010 George McPhee invited Matt Hendricks to training camp on a hunch and signed him on the spot. Hendricks has been a solid fourth liner for the Capitals ever since, dropping the gloves in a few epic fights, and stunning goalies in shootout attempts. Those bona fides have made Hendricks a fan-favorite, so we invited our readers to share their favorite Hendricks stories.

This is a good one.

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Photo credit: @nickludeman

The Washington Capitals have long been divided when it comes to music. The Capitals captain, Alex Ovechkin, loves weird Russian techno and rap, most notably Drake. Nicklas Backstrom enjoys Tiesto and pop music. Brooks Laich digs classic rock. Mike Green dabbles between both rap and hard-rock, Jay-Z and Seether in particular.

Then there are some other Caps who jam to country music. That group includes Eric Fehr, who once detailed his love of the genre during his first go around with the Caps.

“When it comes to my music, you can tell I grew up on the farm,” Fehr was quoted by the DC Sports Bog as saying. “I really enjoy listening to country music. The guys on the team don’t let me put it on in the dressing room, but I’m pretty sure they’ll come around. Alex Ovechkin could be one of the biggest country music haters of them all.”

On Saturday night, Karl Alzner and Matt Hendricks showed they are country music aficionados too, going to WMZQ Fest held at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. The show was headlined by Luke Bryan, who recently won the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Entertainer of the Year award and is best known for his boom boom single Drunk On You.

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Hendy high-fives fans as he walks down the tunnel to the Capitals locker room. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Matt Hendricks is a beloved player in Washington, but by no means is he an essential one. The Caps know that, and he knows that. With his two-year, $1.65 million contract expiring on July 5, he may have played his last game as a Cap. Hendricks, though, hopes that’s not true.

“I hope I don’t get to that date in July,” he said Wednesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as the team cleared out their lockers. “I hope I’m back here in Washington.”

“We’ve been in the negotiating process over the course of the season,” Hendricks added. “It’s a business. It’s a big part of the business. You want to get what you feel you deserve and what you feel is right.”

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