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Thanks Again, Jeff Halpern
Former Capitals team captain and recent fourth-line faceoff specialist Jeff Halpern will not be returning to the team next year. This decision comes as no surprise but we here at Capitals Outsider wish to salute him on his way out. A hometown boy from Montgomery County, Maryland, Halpern is not only the few NHL player out of the great state of Maryland, but one of the only Jewish players to suit of for the Capitals. For Jewish hockey fans in the area, that makes him
a mensch the coolest guy ever.
At 35 (now 36), Halpern wasn’t delusional about what his role was supposed to be in Washington. He won the majority of his faceoffs and played defensive hockey. He put up better numbers than Boyd Gordon did last year in the same position (4 goals, 12 assists vs. Gordon’s 3 goals, 6 assists) but more importantly, always seemed to play intelligently. Very rarely did Halpern leave teammates and fans pulling their hair out wondering what he was doing. And though his signature move was getting booted from the faceoff circle by the refs, he still won an impressive 55.6% of draws.
Though Halpern is still young enough and in good enough shape to play elsewhere, area hockey fans can only help Halpern returns to the area when he’s done playing to be the face of local hockey. Either that, or the face of video game violence warnings.
See a great photo gallery of Halpern at washingtonpost.com.