The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
On Saturday, September 17th a large contingent of the Caps organization took over the new Nando’s PERi-PERi in Arlington to help benefit Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. The players that participated included Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller, Stanislav Galiev, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson. Additional members that helped out were Caps alumnus Paul Mulvey, PA Announcer Wes Johnson, the Red Rockers, Slapshot, Elliot In The Morning, and CSN’s Caps analysts Craig Laughlin and Courtney Laughlin.
It sure looks like everyone had a great time.
Photo: Puck Buddys
Saturday afternoon, Braden Holtby and his wife Brandi supported the DC LGBTQIA community and “Rocked the Rainbow” in the Capital Pride parade. The Holtbys were also joined by several members of the Capitals including PA Announcer Wes Johnson, in-game host Erin Magee, Slapshot, and the Red Rockers.
Last week, Washington Capitals PA announcer Wes Johnson traded his mic in for a role in the sitcom pilot Bennie’s Gym. 86-year-old Ed Asner, who has won more Emmy Awards than any other male actor (seven, including five for the role of Lou Grant), was also in the cast and plays the owner. The filming took place in Columbia, Maryland, near route 175.
During the day, Johnson, who has been with the Capitals for nearly two decades, is a talented voiceover artist and actor. Johnson has had roles in Veep (emmy-award winning HBO comedy), John Waters’ “A Dirty Shame,” and “Head of State” with Chris Rock. He’s also recently filmed a national TV commercial for VISA with Ray Lewis and has done voices for popular video games such as Fallout 3 & 4, Elder Scrolls (Sherogorath ftw), Skyrim, Oblivion, and Star Trek.
On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal, becoming the 43rd player in NHL history to accomplish the feat. I said on Monday night after our 11th article relating to the goal, and I will say it again during our 12th: there were so many tiny, wonderful moments contained inside that one, we’re still sorting through them all.
Over the offseason, three-time Stanley Cup champion and man nicknamed Mr. Game Seven, Justin Williams, said that he signed with the Capitals because his son Jaxon thought Alex Ovechkin was “the best.”
While Williams didn’t assist on the tally, he was on the ice when Ovechkin scored. And just like he has been all throughout his career, Williams was calm under fire, remembering to pick up the milestone puck before joining in on the team’s celebration.
Wes and his beautiful wife, Kim. (Photo: Wes Johnson)
Wes Johnson is a national treasure and we’re lucky to have him as part of the Capitals’ game experience. His talent is endless. Here’s another example.
Recently the Caps PA announcer was asked to narrate “Twas The Night Before Christmas” for a holiday CD that is being shipped to friends, family, and anyone battling cancer. Johnson donated his time, and the result is brilliant.
The Washington Capitals in-arena announcer Wes Johnson is a man of many talents. He’s an accomplished actor (Veep, A Dirty Shame, Head of State), a world-famous voice actor (Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3 and 4), and a comic artist.
He also does one hell of a William Shatner impression, as we heard during Tuesday’s announcement of the Detroit Red Wings’ starting lineup.
Verizon Center was insanely loud tonight. Many players remarked about it after the game (more on that later). And according to friend of the blog Chris Gardner, the noise reached a maximum of 112.2 dB inside the arena, which came on some good ol’ fashioned organic cheering. You guys are crazy.
Caps PA Announcer Wes Johnson was also on top of his game tonight. Every game, Wes will try to pump up the crowd after the team runs it’s Unleash The Fury video on the jumbotron. The video package is played at a strategic time in the game where the Caps Game Entertainment crew thinks it will most help the players and lead them to victory. Tonight, after Karl Alzner scored to make the game 2-1 Isles, the video played.
Then Wes did his thing. It is magical.
I hate feeling my own feels. The Caps just turned my insides to mush with this two-minute video dedicated to Bensten “Bman” Schone. As you’ll recall, Bensten is the six-year-old Caps fan who was struck by a car after accidentally sledding into the road. He’s been slowly recovering from a brain injury ever since.
When news broke that the Capitals asked the US Army Chorus sing the national anthem, some wondered if it was potentially a cost-cutting move. In previous Winter Classics, famous, Grammy award-winning musicians have sung the Star Spangled Banner, including the Zac Brown Band last year and Patti LeBelle in 2012.
Instead, Caps anthem singers Master Sergeant Bob McDonald and Master Sergeant Caleb Green combined with Caps PA Announcer Wes Johnson to author one of the most beautiful pregame ceremonies and anthem singings I’ve ever seen. In fact, the whole thing was so dang perfect and well-done, I found myself overwhelmed. I sobbed by the end of it.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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