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Photo: gp.se

On Sunday night, a large number of NHL stars will board NHLPA chartered flights from Russian to North America. One player who will not be on that flight is Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson.

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Photo credit: Travisa Visa Services Facebook page

The Washington Capitals roster includes just four players born in the United States. The rest of the roster is filled with a bunch of Canadians, 12, and Europeans, 8. That means that every so often, Caps players must go through some red tape to to travel. Oh, the thrilling process of acquiring visas (not credit card version).

Earlier this year, that red tape was a bit more inhibiting, as Mikhail Grabovski missed almost a week of Capitals training camp because of visa issues. Grabo, who had spent the last five years living in Toronto and playing for the Maple Leafs, got bogged down in paperwork up in America’s Hat. Maybe Leafs fans just didn’t want him to leave.

Recently, Caps center Nicklas Backstrom had no such problem. He got his visa painlessly. Maybe that was because the president of Travisa Visa Services is a huge freaking Caps fan.

He made Backstrom take a picture with him when he stopped by the D.C. office.

During the summer, the president also wrote a long, passionate message on his company’s Facebook page about how they need to band together like a hockey team. Love that metaphor. He also dropped this gem at the end: “I know that this year the Caps will go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. Let’s go Caps!”

I have never traveled abroad before, but suddenly I need a visa and I need it from him.

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