Their new team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, became Eastern Conference Champions Thursday after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 at CONSOL Energy Center. Bryan Rust scored both goals, including the game winner.
With Kris Letang suspended and Bryan Rust injured, the Pittsburgh Penguins have reached into the farm to fill their defensive ranks. Up comes Tom Sestito, veteran of 141 NHL games over an eight-year career, and former Capitals prospect Steve Oleksy.
Oleksy played 62 regular-season swag-filled games for the Capitals between 2013 and 2015, scoring 3 goals and 16 assists. In 2013, he added playoff games, his only postseason experience. In the summer of 2015, Oleksy was signed by the Penguins but has yet to suit up for a game.
Oleksy is a surprisingly strong depth defenseman. Relative to the rest of the 2013 Capitals, Oleksy had a positive possession swing of 1.88 percent. Sestito, on the other hand, has been a garbage fire, depressing possession by more than 8 percent in 140 NHL games for 4 different teams.
As much as I love Oleksy, I’d rather see Sestito get the sweater.
The Pittsburgh Penguins put Steve Oleksyon waivers today, and the Caps should claim him. If Taylor Chorney is the current presumptive 7th D when the regular season starts, Oleksy would be an appreciable upgrade. He’d also save the team a little cap space, as Oleksy, at $575k, is cheaper than Chorney at $700k.
The Capitals have seen a lot of fan favorites leave this summer including Mike Green, Joel Ward, and Troy Brouwer. While seeing those guys in new sweaters is definitely weird, Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksy took it to the next level when they signed with rival Pittsburgh.
Like, check out Oleksy in his new Pens’ hockey pants, socks, and helmet, with his new number 65.
Oleksy had been in the Capitals organization for the last three seasons, playing in 62 games (3 goals, 16 assists) for the Caps and 153 games for the AHL Hershey Bears (12 goals, 29 assists), where he served as the team’s captain since March. An under-appreciated defenseman, Oleksy made his mark as a fan favorite for his scrappy style and his personable nature. Here are just seven (that’s his minor league number!) of the many reasons we’re going to miss him.
Saturday night, the Hershey Bears and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the New York Islanders affiliate) played one of the most entertaining and violent American Hockey League games of the season. The Bears and Sound Tigers combined to score seven goals and earn nearly 200 penalty minutes. The game featured a chaotic line-brawl, a goalie fight, eight ejections, and 12 misconducts.
By now, you’ve probably already seen the video (taken by RMNB alumnus Kyle Mace) of Caps prospects Steve Oleksy, Connor Carrick, Chris Brown, Liam O’Brien, and the Bears’ goalie combatant, Pheonix Copley. By Sunday night, the video had amassed over 130,000 views.
Much like Jay Beagle, I discarded my dearest flipper this season and traded it in for an iPhone 6. On Saturday, I went to the Hershey Bears game and went crazy with its video settings and some attachable camera lenses I bought. The results were incredible.
From my glass side seats I captured Mike Moore‘s overtime game-winning goal and the Bears subsequent celebration. Like they celebrated freaking inches from me. While I didn’t notice it live, former Caps enforcer Liam O’Brien kissed Moore on the noggin. Also, I’ve never seen Philipp Grubauer so excited in my life.
No matter if it was Steve Oleksy doing a double skate stop in front of the net or Connor Carrick flipping the puck to himself skating up the ice, there are so many amazing things we miss in hockey at full speed. So I slowed them down.
Hockey players are tough; here’s another story about that.
Let’s go on a trip to PPL Center, where the Hershey Bears on Wednesday night took on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Thirty-two seconds into the game, Steve Oleksy took a rough run from defenseman Brandon Manning.
Binky was like oh hell no and dropped his gloves. As Manning and Oleksy pawed at each other in the corner, Oleksy’s helmet came off. Manning’s stayed glued to his head.
Steve Oleksy was only supposed be with the Caps for a day. But after Nate Schmidt’s brief sojourn to the Bears turned into a multi-month absence, Steve O is here for the foreseeable future. He just won’t be playing in many games, if any at all. Still, Oleksy has to be ready.
In random Caps celebrity news, recent call-up Steve Oleksy presented NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon with a personalized Caps jersey.
I’m not quite sure why Gordon was in in the bowels of Verizon Center this evening. Maybe it’s because the Wizards play the Spurs tonight at 7 tonight. Or maybe Alex Ovechkin is ready to take his talents to Daytona Beach and, oh great, now I’m worried.