Rest in Peace to Former Cap Jack Egers

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Posted September 14, 2021

(Jack Egers, Washington Capitals photography)

Former Washington Capitals forward Jack “Smokey” Egers passed away Friday, Sept. 10. He was 72.

Egers played in Washington’s inaugural season. His first goal with the team was the first game winner in franchise history, in a 4-3 win on October 17, 1974, against the Chicago Black Hawks. The goal was assisted by Yvon Labre and Greg Joly.

“I got a pass, went up the wing, took the shot and scored,” Egers told Sports Illustrated. “That’s my claim to fame. Good trivia question for you to remember. I’m sure we got some headlines in the paper. Maybe someone even said things were turning around. They were wrong.”

That first Capitals team set a record for futility with an 8‑67‑5 record.

“We were playing in Boston Garden against Bobby Orr and we were losing, 10-3, with a few moments to play,” Egers, who later because a firefighter in Kitchener, Ontario, told The Washington Post in 1989. “I passed the puck to Denis Dupere and Orr just kept backing in on Gerry Cheevers and saying, ‘Shoot, Dupy, shoot.’ He backed in so close Cheevers was screened and Denis put it in. That’s how sympathetic other teams looked at us.”

Egers once got in trouble, as he recalled to Sports Illustrated: “At training camp Stan Gilbertson and I got suspended for keeping beer in the tub of our hotel room. We had two workouts a day, so guys would come in after the second practice. Uncle Milty, he didn’t like that too much.”

Egers joined the Caps in the 1974 expansion draft. He also played with the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

Egers, of Lively, Ontario, is survived by his wife, Wendy, son Mark, daughter Cori, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Read The Washington Post’s full obituary of Egers.

(Washington Capitals photography)