The idea for this blog came from the numerous Caps comments I just read in Drew’s “19 points” blog today. I’ve been attending and watching Caps games since the team’s existence in 1974-75 (and was a team statistician for 10 of those years). There have been LOTS of great Capitals players. It would be great to hear from you who your all-time favorite Caps player is and why. Feel free to mention any honorable mentions as well.
I’ll start first:
My all-time favorite Cap is Rod Langway. The reason: basically the Caps were pretty much a joke of a team before he arrived. He was a great leader that helped put hockey on the map around here and the Caps made the playoffs EVERY year he played. By a great leader, he always took care of the new guys when they came to town, made sure the team stuck together on and off the ice (back in the 80’s after a game his bar would routinely have at least 10 players in there), and he was very good with the media and the fans. However, Rod played in a vastly different era in the 80’s and the game has changed and become much more of a business. As you know, Rod was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.
Honorable Mention: Dale Hunter. The reason: the Caps were never very good in the playoffs before Hunter came to the team in 1988 and specifically any time they traveled to the Spectrum to play the Flyers before Dale arrived you could bet that Washington would be coming home big losers, usually of the 6-1 or 6-2 variety, because the Flyers flat out intimidated the Caps in those days. That all changed when Dale came to Washington and who can forget that great 1988 first round playoff comeback from a 3-1 deficit against the Flyers when Dale scored the OT winner in Game 7. The hit on Turgeon was a major negative for him though but I’m sure Dale regrets that incident to this day.
Other Honorable Mentions: Scott Stevens, Al Iafrate, Olie Kolzig, Peter Bondra, and Alex Ovechkin
Also, if you have a favorite Baltimore hockey player let me know who that is as well.