On Sunday Washington Capitals star TJ Oshie was granted a maintenance day by head coach Barry Trotz. Oshie missed practice, but he hit the ice anyway. That afternoon, Oshie drove up to the greatest city in all the land, Frederick, Maryland, to skate with some teeny tiny youth hockey players.
I’ll let Daniel Lerman, who snapped photos and had his son participate in the event, explain.
On Sunday, AAA sponsored a skills session for youth hockey players at Skate Frederick with none other than TJ Oshie. Naturally, Joe B emceed the event. My son Jacob, a 9-year-old squirt, was lucky enough to attend with some of his teammates.
They split the kids into stations—scrimmages, skating drills, shootouts, etc. Oshie, of course, ran the shootout drill. The kids lined up next to Oshie as he watched them try their luck in the skills competition. Those who scored earned a fist bump from Oshie; those who didn’t had to do pushups (he probably got that from Trotz). Oshie went up against the goalies himself—once with a between-the-legs forehand that went top-shelf, and once with a fake slapshot that must have terrified the 9-year-old goalie.
My son was thrilled to meet Oshie. Jacob said that Oshie took the time to talk to each one of the kids (and it felt like there were hundreds on the ice), and gave them all pointers on shooting and stick handling. Jacob told Oshie that he, too, wore number 77 (which he chose before TJ joined the Caps). Oshie apologized for stealing the number from Jacob, and asked if he could “borrow” it “for a little while” (which I hope means for the next 20 years).
Joe B was also extremely gracious with his time—he joined me for a picture, signed autographs, and was an all-around great guy. It was a fantastic day, the AAA folks ran a great event, and my son said that he’d remember it for the rest of his life.
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