2011WinterClassic

The Caps and Pens face-off in the 2011 Winter Classic. (Photo credit: Brian Babineau)

For the past few days we’ve waited with bated breath to find out what, exactly, Uncle Ted would reveal on Saturday morning at Caps Con. An outdoor game? A new retired number? Moving the team to Baltimore? Well, Friday morning news broke (via The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera) that the Washington Capitals will be hosting next year’s Winter Classic.

The Caps have been promised an outdoor game for the past few years, so this isn’t surprising. Still, it’s exciting that a big outdoor event — and there are too many of those to count these days — will finally be coming to DC, likely to Nationals Park. Ted should fill in the gaps for us on Saturday.

So, what do Caps fans think of being on hockey’s center stage?

“About damn time!” Beth Dunn exclaimed when I asked her about the news. “It was the worst kept secret ever.”

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Frozen_in_the_Moment_by_dragonmmho

“Frozen in the Moment” by !dragonmmho

The Washington Capitals are set to announce that they’ll be hosting the 2015 Winter Classic at Caps Con on Saturday. That’s all we know so far. We don’t know where it’ll be or against whom they’ll play or if HBO’s cameras will completely ruin the team again.

Personally, I’m most keen to figure out who will be at the other end of the ice on that inevitably-balmy January afternoon.

Who will the Capitals play at the 2015 Winter Classic?

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Video: 2012 Winter Classic Time Lapse

Late on Monday, the NHL released a pretty sweet time lapse video of the Winter Classic ice rink being built at Citizens Bank Park and concludes with 46,967 people filing out of the stands at the end of yesterday’s game, a thrilling 3-2 Rangers’ victory. Now just imagine this in 2014– maybe at FedEx Field or Nationals Park (or even Camden Yards!).

Winter is Coming in 8 Days

Eric Fehr

Editor’s note: To get you properly revved up for the season, each member of the RMNB crew will take a longing look back at some of our favorite goals from days gone by. You can call it nostalgia or cheap summer content, but it’s really a reminder: WINTER IS COMING.

I wasn’t always a huge hockey fan. My family were Hartford Whalers season-ticket holders, and they took me to an event down at the old Civic Center when I was 4. I would have gone skating but the goal siren frightened me away. I refused to skate and spent the rest of the night sitting on the bench with my hands on my ears. When I finally saw a game at age 12, I was an instant convert.

So: January 1st, 2011. The Winter Classic. Maybe the biggest game of the regular season and my first away from Home Sweet Verizon Center and in Pittsburgh, home of our nemeses. I wanted the win badly.

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Alan May Mic’d up at the Winter Classic Alumni Game

Not five minutes ago, over in the Machinist, Peter was griping about CSN not posting their video of Alan May at Friday’s alumni game. Then Ian found it.

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The 2011 Winter Classic in Photos

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Ovi and Semin play soccer pre-game.

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Alex Ovechkin holds Alex Semin's Niece

After Caps practice concluded today, players and team members were treated to a free skate in which they could bring their friends and family onto the ice. The one person who seemed to have the most fun was none other than Alex Ovechkin, who celebrated the Russian New Year on the Winter Classic ice at 4pm.

Ovi began the free skate by pulling his non-hockey-playing brother Mikhail along with a stick. Next, he set his sights for Alex Semin’s young niece and gave her a trek across the ice on top of his shoulders. After noticing a few kids throwing a football around, Ovechkin got into the action and threw the ball to the kids the entire length of the ice. Several times the bouncing football almost hit one of the NHL Network’s reporters on live TV. Finally, Ovechkin concluded his skate by giving George McPhee’s son, Graham, a wedgie we’re sure he’ll remember for life.

Since we figured you’d want to actually see all of this, the photos and video are below the jump. Enjoy.

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Washington Capitals Winter Classic Team Photo

Your new desktop background: The entire Caps’ roster smiles for the camera ahead of the Winter Classic. Click to enlarge. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Capitals Skate Outdoors Before Winter Classic

Capitals Outdoor Practice (2 of 22)

Editor’s note: Caps Snaps’ Chris Gordon was your man on the street for the Capitals’ outdoor skate at Chevy Chase yesterday. Here’s his report.

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Ovi sported a grease mustache for the practice.

The Caps got a little taste of outdoor hockey on Wednesday at a venue that was somewhat less imposing than Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The practice at the Chevy Chase Club’s rink was closed to the public, but with the Winter Classic just three days away it still attracted a sizable crowd of club members.

“I think we’ve been looking forward to this all year, since they announced it,” Mike Green said. “It couldn’t come quick enough, now here we are, able to play in the game on Saturday. I know everybody is excited.”

“You wish the whole season was played outdoors.” added Karl Alzner.

The players certainly had fun during their skate in the elements. Every member of the team sported eye black, but some players took it further than others, including captain Alex Ovechkin who drew a mustache above his upper lip. “Just have fun, like laugh,” Ovechkin said. “Like, make a joke.”

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Capitals’ Winter Classic Gear in Action

RMNB Varly Mask (2 of 6)

Editor’s note: Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps once again provides the hook-up. This time it’s the Capitals new gear for the Winter Classic being used at practice. Enjoy! All photos are credited to Caps Snaps.

The Caps took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday wearing some new digs. The players rocked their Winter Classic uniforms during a hard practice before the team flew to Boston.

The goalies had some something new to show, too: their brand new masks.

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