Washington Capitals: Hockey Family Extraordinaire

One of the things that makes all the change this summer difficult for some Capitals fans is the sense that the family is breaking up. The players are pretty active on social media which tends to make us feel closer to them. We have the advantage of peeking into their personal lives, the weddings, babies, and the fun they have together.

It’s hard to create the family-nature we saw this past year. The bonds have grown over the years and people like Dan and Taylor Winnik brought the friendships to new heights between Taylor’s photography and trips as teams. As some of the players move on, we are left wondering if the team can recapture the unity they had last season and if they will be able to integrate the younger players who join the roster into the “family.” We don’t know about other teams, but the Caps have a special camaraderie that continues well after a player moves on to other teams.

We saw just how close this group had become when they took two team vacations during the Bye Week.

Last summer we had the Alzner- Oshie vacation:

But maybe nothing is better than watching the players tweet one-another, either in jest or to congratulate them. And the connections have continued well after teammates move along.

There is something hysterical about Young Guns2 – Tom Wilson, Michael Latta, Andre Burakovsky–especially when the ‘old dudes’ get involved:

But nothing, absolutely nothing, tops what happened when Bura got his new, two-year contract this summer. Of course, Latts got things rolling and Justin Williams took the bait:

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And it just got a little crazier with their obviously inside joke.

Once again, leaving the youngest player mystified–as were we! It all warmed our hearts!

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Throughout the years the boys have supported each other in their accomplishments – even when they are playing for other teams, or in the case of John Erskine, not playing. Erskine has been known to randomly show up for Caps games in DC or Canada. Once a Capital – always a Capital!

Of all the relationships, none can top the bromance between Latta and Wilson. The one-time roommates still give it to each other on social media. Their antics keep us in stiches–like when they dressed up as a “special couple” for the Ovechkin team halloween party.

 

Always Room at the OvechkinTable

Speaking of Alex Ovechkin – there is of course the unique homeland bond that the Russian players have. The friendships extend well beyond Caps players into the US-Russian community. They have helped one another adjust to life in the US and to learn the language and how to navigate the different culture. Alex has maintained a relationship with former Caps and old friend, Alex Semin, who was at his wedding extravaganza in July. Ovi frequently hosts family and friends at his home in McLean, Virginia. Those friendships are evident at Ketter where you can Nastya Ovekina and Varvara Orlova hanging out during practice. The Orlovs are close friends with Sergei Bobrovsky and his wife, frequently traveling together. Evgeny Kuznetsov seems to be the quiet one of the bunch, except at weddings.

 

The family atmosphere on the team boils over to the fans. Players (and their families) are quick to interact with fans when they meet them. And many of us have found great friendships in our common love for the Capitals.We have a wonderful community found in season ticket holder events, Capitals Fan Club, The Road Crew, hockey-supported events, and anywhere you find hockey being played.

The Caps inspire us and have helped to build a community that continues to grow and we have no doubt that we and the players will make the new kids feel right at home. There is always room for more friends in cold places after all….
 

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