Oleksy as a kid. (Photo credit: Steve Oleksy)
When you examine the Washington Capitals roster and pore over every player on defense, Steve Oleksy feels like a name that belongs. After signing with the organization as an unrestricted free agent in 2012, Oleksy worked his butt off in Hershey and earned a call-up to the Caps in the lockout-shortened 2013 season.
During that year, it appeared that Oleksy, receiving 17:16 of ice time per game, solidified himself as a solid third pairing NHL defender. When Oleksy was playing, he tilted the ice in the Caps direction. Plus, he was a physical defender that would stick up for teammates and even chip in with some clutch offense. Did we mention he was physical?
Even after getting sporadic playing time this season under Adam Oates, Oleksy still has better possession stats than John Erskine and Connor Carrick. Yet, we’re here.
Monday morning, Renaud Lavoie of Journal de Montreal broke the news that Oleksy was placed on waivers. At 12pm tomorrow, Oleksy could be claimed by another NHL team and gone from the Caps organization forever. That would be a total bummer.
In his short time in DC, Oleksy has managed to become a fan favorite. He showed heart on the ice with humility and humor off of it.
Here are some of my favorite moments.