After practice ended and the Capitals showered up, players walked through a roped off area on top of the parking deck. A wall of Capitals supporters gathered in the oppressive heat to salute the players and give them high fives. The Caps gave out rally towels and t-shirts. Some players wore suits. Lars Eller wore jorts.
But in the end, the sendoff was another watershed moment for the hockey community in this area.
Photos by Chris Gordon. Ian Oland contributed to this article.