Hockey Is Home for New Caps In-Game Host

Posted November 3, 2019

Draganoiu points out the Row of the Game (Caps Outsider)

“Simply put, hockey feels like home to me,” said Sandra Draganoiu, the new in-game host for the Washington Capitals.  “I grew up skating so the rink is a second home to me.  I started my sports hosting career in Cleveland for the AHL Cleveland Monsters, so to be back in the hockey world is heartwarming.”

The daughter of Romanian immigrants, Draganoiu started her sports hosting career in Cleveland for the AHL Cleveland Monsters.  The 31-year-old skating coach is married and the mother of a 2 month old baby boy. She relocated to the DMV in 2016.

“Besides being an in-game host, I am also a skating coach at MedStar Capitals IcePlex in Arlington and a trainer at Sculp’d in Old Town. I have been coaching at MedStar for three years, but have been coaching and choreographing for over a decade,” she said.  “I was an elite competitive figure skater for 15 years, training under Olympic Champion Carol Heiss Jenkins at the historic Winterhurst Ice Arena. I graduated from Kent State University with a degree in International Business in 2009. After graduating, I skated professionally for three years as a soloist and pair skater for Disney On Ice in the US and internationally.”

Draganoiu spent upwards of 25 hours a week in the rink during her training years. Hockey became a large part of her life as many of her good friends played hockey. She, and the other skaters, would regularly support their friends at hockey games, and they would support the skaters at their competitions.  “Hockey was one of a few sports regularly “on” in my household. Soccer, hockey and gymnastics were big in my home,” she said.

Prior to becoming the in-game host for the Caps, Draganoiu also hosted for the Washington Mystics (WNBA) and the Washington Valor (AFL). “The best part about hosting for the Caps has been how welcoming the fans have been. I immediately felt welcomed into the Caps family by all the fans I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so far,” she said. “The energy that the fans bring to game days is so unique and passionate. Caps’ fans are amazing. They really are die-hard and a family. They don’t just show up on game-day. They live and breathe Capitals’ hockey day in and day out. This is certainly the loudest hosting environment I’ve ever experienced.  It makes me even more excited for my role.”

“The fans definitely bring their A game on game days.  Case in point, Jackson Friedlander, our Mite of the Night from back on October 16 (video below).  He was easily the most memorable interview of my career,” Draganoiu recalled.

“Hosting for the Caps has truly been a dream so far. I can’t say there has been anything that has really been challenging, and that is in large part due to how great of an organization Monumental Sports is and how amazing the fans are. We have a wonderful Game Ops & Game Day staff/crew that work behind the scenes making my job easier,” she added.  “This experience has been priceless. To be able to do something I love for a Stanley Cup Champion caliber team/organization/fanbase is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful and honored.”

Draganoiu announces Spot the Cow.