Lots happening as the 2021 National Hockey League season is about to begin. Here are the latest news from the Washington Capitals:
The Capitals and their players continue to contribute to the community thanks to the Hath’s Heroes fundraiser, the most recent event held in December, raised $12,215 through Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. Proceeds will be used to fund future Hath’s Heroes initiatives and programming for first responders in the Washington, D.C., region.
The fund created by Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway and his wife Lindsay, were able to have items for a silent auction that included three 30-minute virtual experiences with Hathaway and select teammates, autographed Reverse Retro jerseys, and an autographed stick sold for a combined $6,400. Hathaway’s personal lower-bowl tickets to a future Capitals home game and post-game meet and greet with Hathaway sold for $1,500. Fan donations totaled $4,315.
“We can’t thank Caps fans enough for supporting Hath’s Heroes and taking part in this fundraiser,” said Hathaway. “It’s because of the community’s involvement that we are able to continue supporting our local First Responders, and we can’t wait to share our future initiatives with you.”
The Hathaways launched Hath’s Heroes in 2019 to give back to first responders. As part of Hath’s Heroes, Hathaway provides tickets to select Capitals games to local first responders. Postgame, Hathaway meets the ticket recipients and gives them a tour of the Capitals locker room. In addition to donating tickets, Hathaway visits local fire stations throughout the season and spends time with first responders. Through fan support, the Hath’s Heroes program provided 3,962 meals prepared by SuperFd Sports Performance and Nutrition to first responders and families affiliated with local nonprofits Kid Power and DC Central Kitchen in the spring of 2020. More recently, Hath’s Heroes provided more than 940 holiday meals prepared by SuperFd to firehouses in Arlington, Va., Alexandria, Va., Fairfax, Va., and Prince George’s County, Md., for Thanksgiving.
Hath’s Heroes and the nonprofit organization Mindful Junkie hosted a Mindfulness For First Responders training session in September. The workshop highlighted how mindfulness can help first responders manage stress on and off the job. First responders learned the science of mindfulness, how to identify triggers and de-escalate emotional response, and more. Mindful Junkie Outreach is a not-for-profit organization that empowers first responders with mindfulness strategies to be safe, healthy and emotionally regulated.
Hathaway’s great-grandfather, Garnet Mcelroy, was a firefighter in Winnipeg, and his experiences inspired Hathaway to launch Hath’s Heroes.
To Support Hath’s Heroes fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:
Next the Washington Capitals have announced the 23 players who will make up the team’s roster for the season opener at the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, Jan. 14, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The home opener is set for Friday, Jan. 22 against the Sabres at Capital One Arena.
Thirteen forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders make up the Capitals’ season-opening roster, led by captain Alex Ovechkin, who led the NHL with 48 goals last season, winning his third straight and NHL record ninth overall Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the League’s top scorer. With 706 career goals, Ovechkin needs three goals to pass Mike Gartner (708) for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time goals list. A 30-goal season would propel Ovechkin to 738 goals, which would pass Gartner, Phil Esposito (717) and Marcel Dionne (731) for fifth on the NHL’s all-time goals list, leaving Ovechkin four goals shy of passing Brett Hull (741) for fourth.
The Capitals enter 2020-21 having won the Metropolitan Division in each of the last five seasons, marking the first time in franchise history the Capitals accomplished the feat. Last season, the Capitals became the eighth franchise in NHL history to win five consecutive division titles and the first since the Anaheim Ducks from 2012-13 to 2016-17.
Head coach Peter Laviolette will make his Caps head coaching debut on Thursday in Buffalo. Laviolette became the 19th head coach in franchise history on Sept. 15 and brings 18 years of NHL coaching experience to the franchise, having previously coached the New York Islanders (2001-03), the Carolina Hurricanes (2003-08), the Philadelphia Flyers (2009-13) and the Nashville Predators (2014-20). Laviolette has compiled a career coaching record of 637-425-25-123 and ranks second in wins among U.S. born coaches and 16th overall in NHL history.
The 2020-21 regular-season schedule will consist of 56 games beginning on Jan. 13 and concluding on May 8. Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times while each team in the North Division will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with intradivisional play in the first two rounds (#1 vs. #4; #2 vs. #3). The four teams that advance to the Semifinal Round would be seeded by their regular season points total, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 4 seed in one series and the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds meeting in the other.
The Capitals roster will also include five players on the team’s taxi squad (as of Jan. 13): forwards Daniel Carr, Brian Pinho; defenseman Martin Fehervary; goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Zach Fucale. Goaltender Craig Anderson was signed and placed on waivers today with the expectation that he will join the taxi squad if he clears.
When it comes time to taking on the Sabres, four of Washington’s first six games and six of its first 15 contests will be played against the Sabres. All of the Capitals’ travel will be limited to the northeast corner of the country, with the longest flight just over an hour in length.
Washington is looking to redeem a 2020 Season and missing out on the 2020 NHL playoff hunt. Thanks to that disappointment there are a ton of new changes to the team including Justin Schultz, Zdeno Chara, Trevor van Riemsdyk to the blueline.
There will be a lot to watch for as this 2021 NHL Season begins and excitement is starting to build. Let the games begin and the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup begin.
For more information on the Washington Capitals fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: