The Washington Capitals’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins ended close to midnight on Thursday. The game started an hour later than normal because it was nationally televised on NBCSN. The Pens’ Stanley Cup banner raising pushed the game back another 20 minutes and then the game needed extra time to be decided after three-on-three overtime and a shootout. The Caps didn’t fly home until early Friday morning. Barry Trotz cancelled practice for that day.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 14, 2016
Friday morning, however, Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson drove to Kettler Capitals Iceplex and practiced anyways. RMNB reader Scott Bershadsky was there and captured (vertical) video of Beags and Willy Baby skating.
Many times hockey players who do not play much the night before will skate on off days. Both Beagle and Wilson got under 10 minutes of ice time in Pittsburgh.
It wasn’t until Beagle concluded his drills that things truly went above and beyond.
I’ll let Scott explain.
It looked like a field trip of kids came to Kettler. Beagle actually rang the crossbar on a shot and the puck went into the stands. All the kids went running. Beagle stopped his own skating to watch the kids and then decided to pick up at least a dozen or so pucks. Beagle opened the door and called all the kids down. He handed each one a puck, autographed each one, chatted, and gave one adorable little girl his stick.
After he concluded meeting with the kids, Beagle cleaned up all of his pucks and moved the net for the Zamboni. Then he came off the ice to visit with me and my service dog ‘Ovi’.
— Scott (@echlpxp) October 14, 2016
A gesture like that makes kids hockey fans for life and it’s the kind of thing that truly grows the sport in this area.
John Wooden once said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” Jay Beagle has a lot of character.
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