One of the benefits of being a Capitals season ticket holder is the in-season skating sessions after select Capital games on the Capital One Arena ice. The first of this season’s skating sessions took place on Sunday following the Capitals somewhat stressful matinee victory over the Rangers and, as is generally the case, it was well attended and included a raffle of sticks, pucks, and a jersey autographed by Caps players and alumni.
The only thing that was missing from prior years was the Capitals’ public address announcer, Wes Johnson, announcing goals and penalties for the people who make requests for themselves and their kids during the session. The kids (and even some adults) at the sessions loved hearing their names announced by Wes over the public address system, whether it be for a goal or a fighting major with their sibling. Just picture the sound of “Capitals goal scored by number 8 (fill in your kid’s name)…..” in Wes’ booming voice echoing through the arena as you skate on the same ice that Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom and John Carlson skated on less than an hour before.
The raffle did get off to a bit of an inauspicious start when a Dmitry Orlov-signed puck was won by of all people, a Ranger fan, which was of some amusement to those that noticed a father and daughter in Rangers jerseys over by the penalty box to collect their prize. I will say that I couldn’t begrudge them winning, the father seemed to be very friendly and knowledgeable about the Rangers and hockey in general, and his daughter was beaming as she held the puck.
Other items that were raffled off included a puck signed by Backstrom, sticks signed by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Rod Langway, and the grand prize being a jersey signed by TJ Oshie. It was nice to see the happiness in the faces of the people that won, especially those that have been attending these events for years and never previously won anything.
The next and final season ticket holder skate at Capital One Arena for this season will take place after the Capitals-Flyers matinee game on March 24. For anyone interested in attending one of the skating sessions, you don’t need to be a season ticket holder, but you do need to have your own skates and have a season ticket holder RSVP for you. Season ticket holders are allowed to RSVP for up to the number of season tickets in their account and don’t need to attend the game or the skating session in order to allow others to participate in the skating session.