The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup Champions and they have the rings to remember it by. At a lavish private ceremony held at the Palm Restaurant, the players and staff, and their families were presented with spectacular rings and necklaces to commemorate their championship.
While each player was presented the ring box individually, captain Alex Ovechkin requested that the team open the boxes together and in unison.
“He wanted to see it so much,” Ted Leonsis said to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “[H]e said, ‘Look, we’re a team. We’re going to give these out individually, but we’re all going to open them at the same time.’ And that’s a sound I’ll remember because it was like, ‘OK, open.’ They all opened them and you heard a ‘Haaaah.’ So, I walked over and said, ‘What do you think?'”
A stunned Ovechkin embraced Leonsis.
“He was just looking at it and that was a real hug,” Leonsis said. “And his wife (Nastya) was really moved by it, too.”
Many players and staff, Leonsis included, were moved to tears during the ceremony, which included speeches and highlight reel videos.
Here are some of the best moments from the behind the scenes video.
To get to the banquet hall, the players had to walk past a wall which features cutout pictures of figures like Henry Ford, Joe Beninati, and now Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Leonsis with the Stanley Cup.
“I like it,” Backstrom said. “It only took us 11 years to be on this wall, right?”
There was a lot of laughter as the team rewatched footage of their championship run and the celebration that followed, especially at Ovechkin’s “boys and girls and babes” salutation.
After watching highlights of the Capitals’ historic run, Ovechkin wiped away a few tears. “Every time when you see the Cup, you see the video, it’s so emotional. It’s something unbelievable,” said Ovechkin.
Leonsis got a little choked up, too.
The team (including Philipp Grubuaer, who flew in from Colorado for the ceremony) took a group photo together.
While the Cup will one day move on to a new team, “these [rings] are something that we’re going to have, together, forever,” Oshie said.
The evening was certainly not lacking in celebration.
After the video presentation, it was time for the rings. In an interview with NHL reporter Tom Gulitti, Leonsis revealed that the rings were designed by his wife Lynn. “[M]y wife will design something that you’re really, really proud of,” Leonsis reportedly told Ovechkin.
That is certainly something to be proud of.
The boxes seem to have their own lighting, although that may just be ambient light reflecting off 258 diamonds and gemstones.
There’s something that just feels right about Alex Ovechkin wearing a Stanley Cup ring.
The trainers and staff received rings and a round of applause for their contributions.
“There’s a lot of people who should get a lot more credit,” Backstrom said in a speech. “That means coaches, trainers, and especially the wives too who are supporting us a lot of years.”
In his interview with Gulitti, Leonsis said they were “going to make sure that the wives and girlfriends and the moms get something equally as nice because I know how close we all are with the families.'”
Evgeny Kuznetsov helped his wife put on the necklace that the partners and family received.
There were some kisses for the rings from Backstrom and Ovechkin.
Backstrom summed it up neatly, with a smile that we’re seeing much more of these days: “This happened tonight.”
Headline photo: Capitals
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