Photos: Amanda Bowen
The Washington Capitals hosted their annual development camp for prospects two weeks earlier this year – arguably the busiest week of the offseason – to better accommodate prospects’ demanding schedules over the summer.
Three days after the 2016 NHL Draft, Caps prospects, which included the likes of top prospects Madison Bowey and Riley Barber as well as every pick from the 2015 and 2016 drafts, took the ice. The prospects learned system play and did drills to allow the front office to evaluate their skills and get baseline numbers. The prospects also participated in off-ice programs to learn what it takes to be a professional in the league. There was also a team-building rowing event held near Georgetown.
Lost in the headlines of qualifying offers, huge trades, and the first day of free agency, talented 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov made his Caps debut, working feverishly with legendary goalie coach Mitch Korn. “[Camp] was really hard,” Samsonov said through a translator. “So many shots.” Forward Stan Galiev even made an appearance several days to help translate. Over the next year, the culture-shocked Samsonov, who only knows a handful of English words, will Skype once a week with Barry Trotz’s son Tyson, to better learn the language and communicate with coaches.
On Saturday, Caps Development Camp concluded with a scrimmage in front of a mostly full Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where Team White picked up a fun, but insignificant win.
That’s because, as the prospects know all too well, the real games and real tests are to come. Only a handful will suit up for the Washington Capitals someday.
Below are my photos from every day this week.
Photo: Washington Capitals
On Wednesday night, some of the best players in Capitals history (and Alan May) participated in the 2016 Caps Alumni Game to conclude Fanfest. Capitals greats Olie Kolzig, Denis Maruk, and Craig Laughlin joined fan favorites like Kevin Kaminski, and Matt Bradley, and Brent Johnson for a spirited game in front of a mostly full Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Former YoungStars Game MVP Brian Sutherby won the exhibition for Team White in a shootout.
Photo: Bruce Bennett
The Capitals released their 2016 Development Camp and Fan Fest schedule today, and if your name is Peter Hassett you’ll be happy to hear that Matt Bradley is joining Kevin Kamiski, Olie Kolzig and Dennis Maruk at something called the Caps Alumni Exhibition on Wednesday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.
To celebrate the Washington Capitals 40th anniversary on Sunday night, CSN Washington unearthed amazing footage of Olie Kolzig getting drafted 26 years ago. The video shows Caps director of player personnel Jack Button selecting the mammoth goaltender from the WHL’s Tri-City Americans on June 17, 1989.
“And you know the Washington Capitals need a goalie,” current lead play-by-play man of HNIC Jim Hughson said way back then. “Obviously, they can’t think that Olie The Goalie, as he’s called with the Tri-City Americans, will step in and lead them to a championship right away, but the first goaltender comes from the Western Hockey League. He’s the eighth Western Leaguer taken in this draft. Olaf Kolzig to the Washington Capitals.”
Wow, those comments are perfect. Also perfect: the mullets.
Photos: Amanda Bowen
A half a dozen former Capitals players came out to the DC Hilton Garden Inn on Wednesday night to spend New Year’s Eve with fans. Caps great Olie Kolzig, Craig Laughlin, CSN analyst Alan May, former 60-goal scorer Dennis Maruk, and several others signed autographs, took photos, and even played some air hockey.
Amanda Bowen estimates that a few hundred people showed up. Below are her photos.
If you’ve got any good stories from the event, hit us up in the comments!
Last week, Braden Holtby released his new Winter Classic goalie mask, which is basically a tribute to Caps great Olie Kolzig. That is the only explanation I can think of after NBCSN’s Chris Cuthbert blurted out this gem after a snazzy Holtby save in the second period.
This morning, Washington Capitals skaters practiced in their blue Winter Classic pants, red helmets, and red socks. That’s cool, but take a closer look at Braden Holtby. The Holtbeast wore his custom catching glove, blocker, and pads for the Classic and they are awesome. Also, his new helmet.
You knew it was coming. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and he has done it in true Ovi fashion.
Wearing only tight black shorts and a gold necklace, Ovechkin– whose head is cut off in the video– introduces the video from a shower before dumping ice water on his head.
Ian Oland, age 17.
A lot of people hate RMNB right now, and I don’t blame you one bit. I’m stupid, we’re all unprofessional, and our opinions are nerdy and statistical. So how about we stop talking about free agency for a minute and concentrate on something that’s actually important: getting Olie Kolzig 10,000 followers on Twitter.
— OlieKolzig (@OlieKolzig37) June 29, 2014
Last week, Kolzig logged into to the social media site for the first time in two years to promote his new Instagram account and his new website. And early returns indicate that he is a huuuuuuuuuuge fan of hashtags now.
It’s official. Tuesday afternoon, the Washington Capitals announced the hiring of Mitch Korn as the team’s new goaltending coach. Korn, who has been Nashville’s goaltending coach since 1998, has coached Pekka Rinne to consecutive Vezina Trophy nominations in 2011 and 2012. Before joining the Predators, Korn spent seven seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, where Dominik Hasek won four Vezina Trophies and two Hart Trophies. That’s a pretty good resume.
Caps great Olie Kolzig will remain in the organization in a unspecified role. The Capitals announced that Kolzig was not fired, but “expressed his desire to not continue as a full-time goaltending coach due to family reasons.”
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