As we celebrate the Capitals' 40th anniversary, let's take a moment to...
Nicklas Backstrom, plotting how to dope his way through the Olympics. (Caps Outsider)
In hockey, there’s never a dull moment – especially not in the summer. Free agent frenzy officially started Monday at 12:00 p.m. but that isn’t the most exciting thing that happened this week. As you may or may not know, on July 1st around 9 p.m., the Ottawa Police arrested Philadelphia Flyers’ star player Claude Giroux for repeatedly groping a police officer’s rear end.
The situation, while a little ridiculous, isn’t unique. While ice hockey is typically regarded as a sport of honor and code, it’s participants are only human. With copious amounts of cash and celebrity status at their disposal, a few minor scrapes with the law are to be expected. From Patty Kane‘s drunken cab ride from Dino Ciccarelli‘s pantsless escapades, the NHL has a pretty impressive, and at times amusing, rap sheet. While the Capitals club has observed most of the infractions from afar rather than within, it’s fun to imagine what kind of antics would splash across headlines if the law cracked down on our boys in red.
Without further ado, Capitals’ crimes:
What better place to start than with the Capitals’ noble leader himself: Alexander Ovechkin. Now, while Ovi isn’t the most humble, or even eloquent, of captains, we forgive him because how could you not forgive a man that wins the Hart Memorial thrice and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard four times? There are, however, some offenses that are utterly inexcusable. We all know about Ovechkin’s excessive celebrations and flamboyant goal scoring, but he takes it a step further with his off ice shenanigans. Anyone who has the extreme pleasure of watching Ovi’s interviews or interviewed him in the locker room, has also had the distinct honor of witnessing his post-game outfit: A pale red robe and towel combo with a gold chain to adorn. It is a truly tacky sight to behold. Were the authorities present in the Capital’s locker room, he would surely be cuffed for disturbing all of our peace.
Moving on from Ovi’s villainous wardrobe choices, something is to be said for one of the Capitals’ youngest ruffians: Tom Wilson. Seated seventh overall in the league for PIMs, Tom is a bit of a tough guy. We like him that way, but as the tough guy code requires, he’s misunderstood. Opposing teams see him as goon, a thug, an enforcer, perhaps even a criminal. Imagine it: Young Tom is out at a bar (he’s Canadian remember, Tom wouldn’t intentionally break the law, of course), and he’s settled into his 12th drink as well as an intense staring competition with a local police officer. Things are getting heated and well, this enforcer of the law just so happens to be a Flyers fan. He remembers when Tom put the beat down on his favorite Philly forward Brayden Schenn. Suddenly, the contest seems a little bit more treacherous to the officer, who is wavering under the awesome might of the Wilson stare. He simply has to arrest young Tom for what could only be described as harassment.
While Wilson might be the brawn of the Caps, but he doesn’t have a monopoly on treachery. Who can forget about Nicklas Backstrom‘s underground drug ring and close encounter with the DEA. You don’t remember? Well…that’s because it didn’t happen. But this is not to say that it’s impossible! I mean let’s look at the facts: Backstrom was suspended at the 2014 Winter Olympics for possession of a banned substance. This banned substance turned out to be his over-the-counter allergy medication, but maybe Claritin can clear more than sinuses – maybe it clears the path to a lifetime of wanton drug abuse and possession. Better lock him up now.
Don’t worry though, theres plenty more crime to go around. There’s Matt Niskanen, whose recent signage with the Caps is a treasonous offense against his old team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brooks Orpik, another ex-Penguin, is guilty of grand larceny after signing for an absolutely ridiculous sum of money and the GM that planned the theft, Brian MacClellan, is guilty of multiple charges for conspiracy, accessory to theft and of course, credit overages. There’s also Evgeny Kuznetsov, who’s definitely avoiding the Russian draft. We see right through you Kuzya.
Last but not least, Jeff Schultz for everything. Just everything.