(Photos by Caps Outsider) It was all about the fans Saturday night...
Caps Honor Veterans, Introduce Courage Caps Merchandise
A day after Veteran’s Day, the Washington Capitals presented their own spin on honoring our troops. Caps fans are used to honoring the Wounded Warriors present each night with a standing ovation, but Saturday’s standing ovations were more frequent and more heartfelt, and the Veteran’s Day events lasted all night long.
During the first period, a video showing messages from Caps players like Matt Hendricks and Mike Knuble interspersed with fan-submitted photos of loved ones serving abroad played on the Jumbotron. Some of the photos even showed fans standing in the desert holding up Caps rally towels or t-shirts. Now that’s dedication! The video closed to chants of “U-S-A” from the crowd.
In between periods, representatives from each of the four branches of the military participated in the Combat Veterans Shoot Out. But the most popular action was out on the mezzanine, where the Courage Caps hats and t-shirts were available for purchase. And with player-autographed Caps available for as little as $35 and proceeds going to TAPS, it’s easy to see why the line was long during both intermissions.
In fact, this was a pretty impressive offering. Plain caps and t-shirts for $20 is on par with any other merchandise the Caps sell, but $35 for a limited edition hat autographed by Brooks Laich, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Michal Neuvirth or a handful of other Caps players? After the huge money some of the autographed jerseys for Hockey Fights Cancer raised via silent auction, I was pleased to see a price point that could offer most any fan the opportunity to own autographed merchandise.
And what’s more, the cause is a good one. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a nonprofit organization that “provides comfort and care for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one.” The autographed caps were only available on Saturday night, but plain caps and t-shirts are still available on WashingtonCaps.com and at the Caps’ team stores at Kettler Iceplex and Verizon Center.
Check out these photos of the Courage Caps merchandise below.