So, summer’s nearly over. But don’t fret … hockey season is right around the corner.
The official start of the 2014-15 NHL season is Oct. 8, and we have the five reasons to be excited about the upcoming Washington Capitals’ season.
5. The 2015 Winter Classic
The Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the District on New Year’s Day. The venue has yet to be finalized, but Nats Park and RFK Stadium are both possibilities.
4. New Faces Behind The Bench
After a disappointing end to the 2013-14 season, there have been a lot of changes within the Capitals organization. In late May, the Caps cleaned house and hired former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz and promoted Brian MacLellan to general manager.
Trotz — who was with the Predators for 15 seasons — brings two of his coaches with him to D.C.
3. New Faces Rocking The Red
As for the new faces on the ice, 18-year-old Jakub Vrana was selected 13th overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek, left winger Nathan Walker (the first Australian drafted in the NHL), forward Shane Gersich and right wingers Steven Spinner and Kevin Elgestal followed on the second day of the draft.
The Caps scooped up Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5 million contract. Orpik ranks first among defensemen in Pittsburgh franchise history in games played, fifth in penalty minutes and ninth in assists.
Orpik wasn’t the only Pittsburgh defenseman the Caps signed. Matt Niskanen followed, signing a seven-year, $40 million contract.
Nathan Walker and defenseman Christian Djoos signed as well, as did Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters.
2. Preseason Home Games
Preseason Caps hockey debuts Sept. 12 at the Verizon Center against the Buffalo Sabres. They host three more preseason games: Boston Bruins on Sept. 26, Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 2, and against the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 5.
The Capitals host their first regular season home game on Oct. 9 against the Montreal Canadiens.
1. New Additions to the Red Rockers
Of course, we can’t forget the lovely ladies rocking the red as the Official Spirit Squad of the Capitals. With some new faces on the team, what’s not to get excited about?
Caps Red Rockers (@capsredrockers) August 15, 2014
Caps Red Rockers (@capsredrockers) July 29, 2014