Chris Bourque Says Goodbye to the Hershey Bears, Again

Chris Bourque announced Thursday that he will not return to the Hershey Bears for the 2018/19 season. Bourque signed a one-year contract with the Capitals franchise in 2017 and became a free agent this summer. There is no indication that the 32-year old has signed with another team, but given his penchant for playing just about anywhere, it is possible we will see his name associated with another team soon.

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Chris has always been a favorite up in Hershey. He is one of the nice guys who comes from hockey royalty. His father, Ray Bourque, leads the NHL in the highest number of career goals, assists, and points for a defenseman. He has more awards then most players in the NHL and set the bar high for his sons.ryan bourqueChris’ brother Ryan once too played with the Hershey Bears and has four medals from the International Ice Hockey Federation as well as World Hockey medals.

Chris made a name for himself in the hockey world. He was selected to represent the United States as part of the USA Hockey Team in 2018. He recorded two assists during the series. Although much of his career has been spent in the American Hockey League (AHL) he also played 51 games in the NHL, 13 with the Capitals, 20 with the Penguins, and 18 with the Bruins with eight points during those times.

Chris has been successful in the AHL. In 716 games played he scored 235 goals and 455 assists. This past season with the Bears he scored 17 goals and 36 assists showing a decline in overall points for the left winger. He has been one of the AHL’s most active scorers and someone that the crowd loves to watch play.

Previous article: Christian Djoos

Martin Fehervary, a Defenseman with Offensive Presence

Martin Fehervary, drafted as the 46th overall pick in the second round during the 2018 NHL Draft, has been signed by the Capitals to a three-year entry-level contract. The 18-year old defenseman from Bratislava, Slovakia seems to be a good addition to the offensive zone. Continue reading “Martin Fehervary, a Defenseman with Offensive Presence”

Hershey Spotlight: Connor Hobbs

Today begins our daily Hershey Bears Spotlight, the newest addition to the blog. We know you all are already going through withdrawals after yesterday’s final day of Caps Dev Camp so we decided to give you some more information on the guys from camp that will be heading to Hershey for the first time this season as well as those returning from the previous season.

First up we have one of our personal favorites here at FiCP; Connor Hobbs who played defense wearing #7 for the Bears since last season. Connor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft #143 overall and continued to play for the Regina Pats in Canada for two more seasons following the draft.

In total Connor played for the Pats for three seasons before coming to the Bears; breaking multiple records during his time there including goals in a single season by a Pats defenseman and points in a single season by a defenseman in the WHL.

Connor is a hard hitting guy who throws his body around in all the right ways and has the speed to get him where he needs to be. To us he is the Tom Wilson of defenseman. Last season he posted 61 minutes in penalties, accompanied by three goals and 13 assists Impressive for a defenseman in his first season with the AHL. These numbers do not truly reflect his abilities though due to a wrist injury that sidelined Hobbs for seven weeks.

We expect to see Connor again for training camp in September as he demonstrates his abilities with the full Caps team.

Capitals Development Camp Ends With Scrimmage And Hopes

Photos by Brittney Marcum Click Here

The Capitals concluded this year’s development camp with a high-paced game in which some players really stood out. Kettler Capitals Ice Plex was packed for the game, although some fans braved the heat for a chance with the Stanley Cup – more from our team later.

Scrimmage

The group was divided into Team Red and Team White. Out of play today were Lucas Johansen and Kristofers Bindulis.dsc_0496

The goalies were also split between the two teams with Mitchell Gibson, Peyton Jones, and Frank Marotte in the net for White while Ilya Samsanov and Logan Thompson protecting the net for Team Red.

Scrimmages are short bursts of play and the prospects have a limited time to show their skills to coaches as management. Watching from rafters were the new Caps coach Todd Reirden, Olie Kolzig (professional development coach and former goalie goalie mentor), Blaine Forsythe, Mitch Korn, as well as GM Brian MacLellen. Not that that added any pressure to the guys hoping to get to the show soon.

The game was full of lots (we mean LOTS) of hits between the guys. And some decent scoring too!!!

Goal makers today included:

Eric Florchuk (Red)

Mark Simpson (White)

Sebastian Walfridsson (White)

Shane Gerish (Red)

Chase Priskie (White)

Final score 4 – 2 Team White!

We had a few favorite standouts today and we will dive deeper into their play and potential in a few features later this summer. For now, let’s take a look at some of them:

Connor Hobbs is our number one player from camp and the scrimmage. He is everywhere on the ice, reading where the puck goes and getting there quickly. Everyone we spoke with today mentioned him. And there is something different in his play. A definite level of confidence we haven’t seen in previous camps.

Cooper Zech, a defenseman who at 5’9″ and 161 pounds was a real powerhouse. We liked him from day one and he confines to impress us in the scrimmage.watermarked24(2018-06-30-1552)

Shane Gerish is the real deal. He has fast feet, good hands control, great in the corners, and lots of control. Oh and he can score too! He had a goal and an assist today. We can’t wait to see him at training camp!watermarked28(2018-06-30-1552)

Jonas Siegenthaler had full control today. He has a new maturity in the ice. Today we saw a nice move forward and a backhand pass that looked effortless for him. Like Hobbs, he seems to have a new-found confidence in his performance.watermarked19(2018-06-30-1551)

Chase Priskie was outstanding- including that sweet goal late in the second period. There is something about his style we like. You know he is there, and yet he can skate under the radar and make a play like he did today. He is one to keep an eye on.

And we just have to mention Patrick Giles. He was one of the three youngest players at camp this year. He is a local guy and his family and fellow teammates came out today to watch him. It was fun seeing their excitement for their buddy! Giles wasn’t drafted but he was invited to camp. He will be off to Boston College and we hope we get to see him back at camp again.

We will cover more of the players, especially those heading to Hershey and those drafted by the Capitals. It can take a while for the dream to come true, but this crew has a lot of potential.

Next up for the Caps? Capitals Training Camp in September.

Capitals Summer Gets Busy; More Than Just the Cup

Now that the excitement has died down a bit over the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup– we joke- it’s time to look ahead to some key dates for the NHL:

Continue reading “Capitals Summer Gets Busy; More Than Just the Cup”

Thank you Chimmer!

Whatever you called Jason Chimera: Ice Cheetah, Chim Dawg, Chimmer or Jason, he will be greatly missed by Caps fans everywhere.

A player like Chimera wasn’t going to sit idle for long as a free agent.  So now we get to play against him when those boys from Brooklyn visit Verizon Center this season for our first home game.

Its a part of hockey no one likes, even the players stress out over it. But business will always come first to hockey; before friendships, locker room leadership, community ties and family.

I just want to say thank you Jason Chimera for your role on the Washington Capitals hockey team. I spend every game waiting anxiously for your warm-up routine of running your teammates into the boards for fun. Some nights it was a gently tap, a handshake or a puck tossed at them. But nine times out of 10, it was a great big ol’ hit against the boards, to where everyone around watching warm ups would laugh and take video or pictures of the team bonding going on before a game.

Your interviews are always entertaining; from you and Joel Ward imitating Mike Vogel and John Walton, throwing your socks or tape on a player being interviewed,or  being kissed by Kuzy on the head and saying it’s usually on the lips. Your yelling from across the room randomly during other players interviews. And your wonderful sense of humor.

During exit interviews at the end of the past season, Chimera broke down and cried at the fact he may be facing an uncertainty of coming back to DC to play after free agency. Well that uncertainty  came true today. I believe Chimmer will do well for the Islanders; it’s a new beginning for the Chim Dawg.

I’m so impressed with Chimera’s speed on the ice, his gritty style of play, standing up for his teammates and his milestone season of scoring 20 goals.  There’s a lot of fight left in this Chim Dawg!

We love you Chimmer and we thank you for giving us Caps fans your best each and every time you played.. We will miss your personality here in DC,  and we wish you the best of luck in New York…just not too much luck when you play the Caps…

I know we are all looking forward to Chimmer’s highlight video the first time he visits Verizon Center next season. I’m sure it will include a a grey Mike Vogel wig, socks being thrown, and a big kiss from Kuzy.. .On the head… Not the lips . And then we will see him do what he loves the most: play to win.

Thank you Jason Chimera!  You will be greatly missed by your fans in DC.   We will always root for you no matter where you go.. We love you Ice Cheetah!

 

Caps In – Caps Out: Change is Coming with UFAs and RFAs

Change is coming to the Caps this week. Between the draft, trades, and upcoming unrestricted free agent (UFA) and restricted free agent (RFA) signings and free trades; the Washington Capitals will be doing what they can to create four solid scoring lines. We also expect to see the Caps adjusting the defensive lines to add scoring power on the other end.

So what is all this talk of RFA and UFA?  In simple terms, UFAs are for older, seasoned players and RFA’s are for the “young guns” of the team. And everything hinges on the players status by the end of 30 June. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2013: Continue reading “Caps In – Caps Out: Change is Coming with UFAs and RFAs”