Capitals Not Taking Any Chances; Call Up Lewington

The Capitals announced Saturday afternoon that they called defenseman Tyler Lewington up from the Hershey Bears. The Caps play the Philadelphia Flyers at 1230 on Sunday and are down a D-man with and injured Michal Kempny out. Coach Todd Reirden suggested earlier today that he would likely consider adding some backup to the roster. Continue reading “Capitals Not Taking Any Chances; Call Up Lewington”

Hershey Bears And Fans Warming up for New Season

Our newest contributor Sue Snavely- bringing highlights from the Hershey Bears!! Here are her first preseason impressions.

As I anticipate seeing the Hershey Bears play their second preseason game later today, I can’t help but be proud of this organization. Last season may not have had the outcome they wanted but their parent club won the Stanley Cup. Hershey is a minor league team, their job is developing young hockey player. There were 11 Caps players that started their career in Hershey; I would say the Hershey Bears did their job. 

In my seat at the place I call my home away from home, I look at the list of players and recognize 13 of the 30 players.  This will be a team of young prospects in Hershey this season. 

Ten minutes into this game and I have one statement: “fast fast fast.” Axel Jonsson-Fjallby is everywhere, Max Kammerer is a hitter and goaltender Ilya Samsonov, well he needs to stay in his net.

This will be an exciting year to see how the Bears recover from last season with a new coach – Spencer Carberry at the helm.

They Like Us, They Really Like Us (Our Caps photos that is)

We launched this media outlet at the start of the 2015/16 season because we wanted to showcase the best moments of the Capitals in photos. Players, other blogs, and fans were already using and liking the pictures our photographer, Brittney Marcum, took at practice and during games so we thought, why not just create our own site to share those great for the fans, and of course the players.

Our name, Friends in Cold Places comes from a joke that Tom Wilson and Michael Latta liked and used so many of our pictures that we had become their “friends” around the ice–their private photographer. In these photos- Brittney took a picture of Latts, it was picked up by the Caps on the jumbo-tron during the next game, he liked it, so we printed it and gave it to him to honor his grandmother. And a new website was launched!!

We added a few stories about the Capitals that we thought you might want to read, and here we are today. We still take lots of photos and we love writing stories about the Capitals, the Hershey Bears, and the experiences we have following them. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy taking photos and writing.

So,  excuse us now if we toot our own horn a little bit! Continue reading “They Like Us, They Really Like Us (Our Caps photos that is)”

What Do Those Long-Term Contracts Mean for the Capitals Future?

Every team in the NHL is planning for the future and lining up younger players to fill in as contracts expire or older players are “moved” off the roster. The past couple of summers, the Capitals have made some long-term investments in players that may make it harder for younger players to have their opportunity on the NHL ice. Continue reading “What Do Those Long-Term Contracts Mean for the Capitals Future?”

Reid Cashman Brings Continuity to Caps Coaching Team

The Washington Capitals officially announced the hiring of Reid Cashman as the new assistant coach under Todd Reirden today. The also announced the addition of Scott Ariel to the coaching team. Cashman will likely pick up the duties of defenseman coach. He was the Hershey Bear’s assistant coach since July 2016. The previous five years he was the assistant and associate coach to the Quinnipiac University Bobcats, known for turning out good NHL prospects like Chase Priskie who was just at Development Camp.

Cashman knows how to work with, and communicate with, developing players. Key attributes general manager Brian MacLellan said he liked in Reirden. Cashman was himself a top college-level defenseman who went on to play for the Toronto Marlies and other AHL teams before becoming an assistant coach. With Reirden moving up the head spot, the Caps need a good guy to work with the defense. Looks like that is Cashman, who already has a relationship with many of the younger defenseman, is the perfect fit.

Reid and his wife Stefanie should be making the move to DC soon.

Regarding Arneil, the Capitals press release describes his five seasons as an associate coach with the New York Rangers and a long list of positive attributes that will only be good for the Capitals.

Arniel brings more than 15 years of professional coaching experience, which includes serving as head coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2010-12. In addition, the Kingston, Ont., native compiled a 218-136-21-21 record in five seasons as head coach in the American Hockey League with the Chicago Wolves and the Manitoba Moose. Arniel guided the Moose to the Calder Cup Finals in 2009 after posting franchise records with 50 wins and 107 points to finish atop the AHL standings. Arniel captured the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award that season as the AHL Coach of the Year.

Hershey Spotlight: Is Liam O’Brien the Tom Wilson of Hershey?

Liam O’Brien, aka “The Big Tuna,” is a rough and tough kind of player for Hershey and that is exactly what we expected from him. He inked a new contract with the franchise, avoiding a scheduled arbitration. In his last two seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QJMHL) Liam racked up 164 PIM in the 2012-13 season and 148 in the 2013-14 season prior to coming to the Bears. Continue reading “Hershey Spotlight: Is Liam O’Brien the Tom Wilson of Hershey?”

Caps Polls: The Sixth Defenseman

This past week, I ran a fan poll on Twitter asking who you think General Manager Brian MacLellan and newly appointed Head Coach Todd Reirden will pair with Christian Djoos on the third defensive pair. Here are the results:

Majority of voters chose Madison Bowey. He made his initial NHL appearance last season in 51 games and tallied up 12 assists from the blue line. A young, two-way defenseman with a lot of potential to grow in the league. He is my personal favorite.

Ranked second on the voting poll was the Unrestricted Free Agent option, which a lot of fans are hopeful for the return of Brooks Orpik. His performance in the post-season was detrimental and a huge contribution to the Caps success. I personally wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back the veteran blue-liner, but I feel the best course of action would be to start integrating the youth in that area.

Not too many fans of Aaron Ness on the voting poll, but 12% voted other. Talking to some Caps fans, some believe we could see the appearance of Connor Hobbs. Hobbs rattled the Hershey Bears fan base in his debut game with a huge hit Jeff Taylor of the Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton Penguins last year. Some say it was questionable, but for most it was a statement on what kind of game he brings. In his first season, he played 44 games and accrued 16 points (3 goals and 13 assists) from the blue line. A young, good sized defenseman at 6’1″ who isn’t afraid to throw the body around or the hands.

Keep an eye out for the next Twitter poll! Go Caps!

Hershey Bears Schedule Out

On Wednesday the Hershey Bears released their schedule for the 2018/19 season. Why should you care?? Because some of these players may one day play with the Washington Capitals – their affiliation parent.

And, they have some really good players and the experience is always well worth it. The Giant Center provides a friendly venue for your viewing pleasure. Food is reasonable. Seats are reasonable. And it’s HERSHEY PA!! You can literally smell the chocolate in the air.

The Bears have a new coach this year. Spencer Carbery comes to Hershey after a stint running this game for the Caps ECHL affiliate South Carolina Stingrays. That could spur some improvement in performance and stats after a not so great 2017/18 season.

The Bears failed to make it to the playoffs this past season. They were plagued with goalie injuries and a group of players new to the pros. After finishing last in the division, they have nowhere but up to go!

The season opener is Saturday 6 October against the Syracuse Crunch. The next night they welcome fan favorite Chris Bourque who returns with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Make it a weekend and stay for both games!

Get to know some of the players. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates. Or just like us here!

Oh and read our Hershey Bear reports to meet the players.

Djoos

Bourque

Barber

Johansen

Boyd

Hobbs

Vrana

Copley

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

Hershey Bears Spotlight: Lucas Johansen

We know the first thing that comes to mind when you hear his name. “Is he related?” Well the answer is yes. Lucas Johansen is the younger brother of Ryan Johansen; centerman for the Nashville Predators. Although Lucas is not yet at the level of his older brother he has a lot of positive qualities. For one his speed is something to see, he was one of the fastest on his skates this season for the Bears. Second he always seems to weave in and out of tight spots where some of the bigger guys aren’t able to get.

It has now been two years since Lucas was drafted by the Caps in the first round. So where is he?

We really didn’t get much of a chance to see Lucas in action during this Caps development camp due to an injury but what we did see of him was someone who is growing but not quite there yet. We are hoping we get to see more of him this year in Hershey to see his game develop into something great that the Caps can use.

In his first season in Hershey, Lucas scored six goals and 21 assists and finished the season with a -13 rating. The points total, combined with a negative rating, leaves something to be desired. But we will chalk it up to first year jitters, and will wait to truly analyze him until after this season and seeing him in action in Hershey. We don’t think he is quite NHL ready yet.

Let us know your thoughts about Lucas and what you would like to see from him this year below in the comments.