Our Heroes Are Human

Posted August 23, 2019

(Caps Outsider)

On the same day that news broke of Evgeny Kuznetsov being suspended for four years of international play for testing positive for cocaine, retired Caps fan favorite John Erskine was charged in a May collision that critically injured himself.

This sucks, not just for the players, their families, and their organizations, but the fans – especially children – who hold these folks in high esteem.

NHL players collectively seem to have far fewer negative off-ice incidents than athletes in other professional leagues, like the NFL (at least, it seems that way). While there are notable exceptions in hockey, the Caps’ scandals have been few and far between.

Some of the worst incidents in Caps history happened decades ago. This includes the infamous limo incident in 1990 involving Dino Ciccarelli, Geoff Courtnall, Neil Sheehy and Scott Stevens, who were accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl. She didn’t press charges, but none of those players were on the team much longer. Short-time Capital John Kordic apparently had two drug relapses during his time with the team, and died a year later. Jaromir Jagr‘s IRS issue was perhaps the least memorable moment of his stint with the Caps.

The Caps dodged a public relations bullet when former goalie Semyon Varlamov, while with the Colorado Avalanche, was charged with assault on his girlfriend, though that suit was later droppedMike Ribeiro, who had several scandals during his NHL career, seemed to have no problems during his season in Washington.

Let’s all pray that Kuznetsov will get through this and return to being one of the best all-around players in the league. This is something he and the team can overcome.