The Tough Life of a Caps Fan

Mar 01, 2004 • 3 minutes to read

Update x3

Anson Carter, who the Caps traded for Jaromir Jagr lasted a total of two weeks in Washington before being traded to Los Angeles. Mike Grier was also traded to Buffalo. The Washington Post has a good summary of all the changes and the challenges Caps face here

Update x2

It looks like Sergei Gonchar is going to the Bruins not the Panthers and Michael Nylander will join him…Washington Post has the story: “Capitals Fire Sale continues

Update Yet another player will be traded, as I said before, with all the players cut the most offensive player on the Capitals is a defenseman - Sergei Gonchar. The Caps have agreed to trade to a division rival, the Florida Panthers.

I just ran across Harry Pierson’s post on Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals, and I completely agree with him. It’s tough being a Washington Capitals fan, it really is. The Capitals this year seem bent on self destruction. This year alone they traded Jaromir Jagr, their #1 goal scorer in ‘02-03 season, Robert Lang, their #2 goal scorer in ‘02-‘03 (and when traded was the #1 scorer in the entire NHL), Peter Bondra, an original Washington draftee, who finished scoring in the top 5 every season since 1994, and set **franchise records **for points (825), goals (472), power-play goals (137), power-play goals/season (22), game-winning goals (73), shorthanded goals (32) short-handed goals/season (6), game-winning goals (13), hat tricks (19), hat tricks/season (4), goals/game (5), and goals/period (4).

Maybe as a Caps fan since my early teens I shouldn’t be surprised, considering that the Capitals bumpy history is lined with horrible trades decided out of stupidity or greed. Below are just some examples, I could go on and on…

  • Mike Gartner -Long time Washington Capital, traded, goes onto become 500+ goal scorer and a member of the Hall of Fame
  • Dino Ciccarelli - 500+ goal scorer, traded to Detroit 92-93, becomes their #2 goal scorer behind Steve Yzerman.
  • Scott Stevens - Washington draftee, traded, goes on to win multiple Stanley Cups including being named the playoff MVP in 2000
  • Jim Carey wins top goaltender award in 95-96, traded to Boston the next year.
  • Jason Allison, Washington draftee that starts with the Caps in ‘96, traded to Boston, only to become their #1 scorer in for two consecutive seasons.

I bet the New Jersey Devils have paid for Scott Stevens high salary _just _by hawking replica jerseys for $75/pop. Note to Leonsis: Just like movie theaters you don’t make money off of selling regular-joe tickets, you make money off of the premium services like box seats, concessions and logo-ware. No one will go see your team if you don’t have a star. The Washington Bullets Wizards sold out almost every game because Michael Jordan was playing even though the team didn’t even make the playoffs.

Maybe this is all part of the Caps plan to get back to their roots. In the club’s first inaugural season, 1974-75, the Washington Capitals had the worst record in the history of hockey. This season they are tied for fourth worst in the league. Their #1 scorer plays defense. My only solace is that Joe Gibbs is back as the head coach of the Redskins and the skins may actually finish with a winning record…



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