Tonight will be an emotional night for Caps fans as they welcome back a center who brought a blue collared work ethic on the ice and a good heart off the ice. Jay Beagle was an integral part in the Capitals success. In 10 seasons, he played 471 games finishing with 116 points (51 goals and 65 assists). It ended in the best way possible, hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Beagle’s best work came from the face-off dot with a success rate of 56.4 percent. In the playoffs last season en route to the Cup, Beags had eight points (two goals and six assists) in 23 games.
After the hoopla that comes from after winning the Cup, Beagle told the media on breakdown day that D.C. is his home. The unfortunate part is that this is also a business and in the end, the Capitals were looking to bring back other RFAs. In the end Beagle got a well-deserved contract offer from the Vancouver Canucks, a four-year, $12 million deal.
His path to the NHL was unique. Beagle was undrafted and began his career in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads back in the 2006-07 season culminating in a Kelly Cup. The next year, he played in 64 games with the Hershey Bears, Washington’s AHL affiliate, finishing with 37 points. Beagle helped the Bears to back-to-back Calder Cups. After helping the Capitals in their historic path to the Cup last season, Beagle made some history of his own, a hat trick in the grandest way imaginable. He became the first player to win a championship in three levels of professional hockey: the ECHL, the AHL and the NHL.
Tonight Beagle will return to Capital One Arena. He’s already reunited with his former teammates when the Caps were in Vancouver in October, where Beags was presented with his Stanley Cup ring. Tonight will be a chance for us, the fans, to salute Beagle. The video tribute is sure to be emotional and the standing ovation may bring a tear to some fan’s eyes.