For Caps, Scandals Are Few and Far Between

Posted November 11, 2013

He’s not our problem anymore. (Photo by Alena Schwarz)

The Washington Capitals fans and franchise alike are breathing a sigh of relief after dodging the hypothetical bullet that is Semyon Varlamov. In 2011, the Caps traded Varley to the Avalanche for a first-round pick in 2012 and a second-round pick in 2012 or 2013.

In light of Varley’s recent second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault charges, this move seems prophetic. Rather than dealing with a tainted rep (even if he is found not guilty, let’s be honest – it’s still a tainted rep), the fans can sit back and watch the poor Avalanche deal with what would’ve been the Caps’ problem. This is a role that Caps fans are comfortable with as of late, as the team’s reputation has been relatively untouched, save for a few tales of yore.

The famous “limo scandal” of 1990 involved Dino Ciccarelli, Geoff Courtnall, Neil Sheehy and Scott Stevens, who were all accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old girl in a limo. The accuser never pressed charges, and the Caps quietly ushered all four players out of the city. So long, trouble-makers (although losing Stevens wasn’t such a great move for the franchise’s Stanley Cup aspirations).

The team ran into problems with John Kordic’s bouts with alcoholism and Jaromir Jagr’s IRS issues, but let’s face it, every team deals with an intoxicated egg every once and a while (like Mike Ribeiro in Dallas). Compared to Billy Tibbetts’ prison sentence, Sean Avery’s mouthy comments, Rick Tocchet’s gambling ring, Dany Heatley’s car wreck, or Patrick Kane in a cab, the Capitals are one of the cleanest teams in the league. There haven’t been serious problems for at least a decade – and (hockey) god-willing, there won’t be in the next. Luckily, Ovi and the boys know to keep the infractions on the ice.