Lost amid the news Wednesday afternoon that longtime Caps defenseman Mike Green had signed a 3-year, $18-million contract with the Detroit Red Wings was the news that another Caps D-man, Steve Oleksy, had signed his own 1-year, $575,000 deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Thank you to all the incredible people that made my 3 years in Wash & Hersh memorable but ecstatic to be part of the @penguins organization.
— Steven Oleksy (@StevenOleksy) July 1, 2015
Oleksy had been in the Capitals organization for the last three seasons, playing in 62 games (3 goals, 16 assists) for the Caps and 153 games for the AHL Hershey Bears (12 goals, 29 assists), where he served as the team’s captain since March. An under-appreciated defenseman, Oleksy made his mark as a fan favorite for his scrappy style and his personable nature. Here are just seven (that’s his minor league number!) of the many reasons we’re going to miss him.
Just because you’re punching a dude in the face doesn’t mean your hair should be all a mess. During a fight with Brandon Dubinksy on October 19, 2013, Oleksy took a quick coif break. Caps tough guy and great head of hair Alan May called Oleksy’s slick hair flip his “favorite moment” of the fight.
Oleksy. O-L-E-K-S-Y. oh-LECK-see. Not that hard.
Unless you’re a professional hockey announcer or news outlet literally named The Hockey News.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Steve Olesky to a one-year, two-way contract worth $575,000.
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 1, 2015
Heck, even the best Caps blog on the Internet sometimes had problems with it. As someone whose last name looks like it should have a “d” on the end of it, I can sympathize with Steve-O on this one. But hey, they may be getting your name wrong, but at least they’re talking about you, right?
Almost every professional athlete becomes an autograph machine. They can sign their name in the blink of an eye, churning out signatures faster than you can say, “wait, whose autograph is this again?” But not Steve Oleksy. To him, every autograph is precious. That’s why he takes an eternal six seconds to write his name.
See what we mean re: Oleksy! So good. A video posted by Brouwer Rangers (@brouwerrangers) on
Steve Oleksy’s nickname since childhood is Binky, and it’s for exactly the reason you’d think.
“When I was younger, I was sick and I was in the hospital quite a bit,” Oleksy told RMNB back in 2013. “I called my pacifier my binky, and every time I started crying the nurses would tell my mom to put my binky in. She started calling me that, and then the kids at school caught on, and it just kind of grew with me.”
Oleksy is never one to turn away from a fight, which is unfortunate for him because he cuts and bruises easily.
Photo: Geoff Burke (USA TODAY)
Photo: Daniel Zampogna (Pennlive)
You get the idea.
Of all the reasons to miss Binky, the biggest is that we may now never find out who would have won the proposed racquetball showdown between him and RMNB’s Ian Oland. Last summer, Oleksy tweeted about playing racquetball with Braden Holtby.
— Steven Oleksy (@StevenOleksy) May 15, 2014
For new RMNB readers, here’s a quick recap of what happened next: Ian, who plays at his local Sport & Health “almost every week,” thought to himself, “Yeah, I could probably beat a professional athlete at a sport I dabble in once a week” and issued an open challenge to Oleksy.
Oleksy accepted Ian’s challenge, and even offered to play with a ping pong paddle in place of a racquet. Due to scheduling challenges, the match has yet to occur, and now it probably never will. As a result, we’ll never really know who would have won.
Just kidding. We all know Binky would have demolished Ian. That’s really why we’re sad. We missed out on the epic beatdown.
Leave your favorite Oleksy memories in the comments.
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