During the season, we will be sharing photos, videos, and interviews we never got to after the Caps won their first Stanley Cup. This series is entitled Stanley Cup stories.
Alex Chiasson was one of only three players not to return to the Capitals after winning a Stanley Cup last season. Chiasson, who scored a goal in the Capitals’ second-round elimination game of the Penguins, could only muster a professional try out from the Edmonton Oilers in the fall. Before the season began, the Oilers signed Chiasson. It was the fourth consecutive one-year contract he’s signed.
While Chiasson may no longer be playing hockey in DC, he will forever be a part of the lore of that Capitals’ championship team. And he didn’t leave empty-handed.
Chiasson was given a championship ring from Alex Ovechkin before the Caps game against the Oilers on Thursday. Chaser also took with him a unique Stanley Cup collectible that harkens back to the team’s biggest party day.
On June 9, two days after the Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final, the team made its first public outing at Nationals Park. Alex Ovechkin threw out the ceremonial first pitch(es), wearing a white customized Nationals jersey. The front of the jersey, inspired by the Capitals sweater design, had a giant C, marking Ovi’s captaincy.
After the Nationals game ended, Ovechkin, still wearing this gifted jersey, bear-hugged Caps fans as he left Nats Park.
However, by the end of a wild, wild night, Chiasson, for some reason, had it on.
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Alex Chiasson ended up with @aleksandrovechkinofficial’s Nationals jersey during the team’s crazy partying from the Georgetown Waterfront to @cafemilanodc. During Breakdown Day in June we asked Chiasson about the jersey. “Yeah it’s mine now,” he said smiling. #bffgoals (Photos and Video: cjdattaro and rafoolio23 on Twitter)
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On top of a canopy at Cafe Milano, the checking-line forward held the Stanley Cup above his head as Caps fans cheered below. The number eight on the jersey can be seen as he walks back inside.
— Rahul Gandhi (@rafoolio23) June 10, 2018
Inbetween the baseball game and the visit to Cafe Milano, the Capitals partied hard in Georgetown and Ovechkin went viral for an iconic Cup stand and fountain celebration. During the Cup stand, Ovechkin was still wearing the jersey.
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By the time the future Hall of Famer ended up in the Georgetown waterfront for some impromptu swimming, he was completely shirtless.
— Perry Mattern (@pmattern7) June 9, 2018
During the season, Chiasson and Ovechkin, despite being polar opposites on how their NHL careers have gone, became close friends – an odd couple similar in the vein to Evgeny Kuznetsov and Brooks Orpik. Ovechkin offered advice to Chiasson about his stick length and encouraged him to be more confident in his shot. The two would chat about positioning and system play.
I asked Chiasson on Breakdown Day about their friendship.
“I think we bonded from the start of the year,” Chiasson said to me during breakdown day. “We’ve gotten to know each other. You know, you like every guy–I’m the guy that loves every guy on the team –there’s never been a guy that I have a hard time with. But there’s also different guys where maybe you connect with a little more than some of [the other] guys. And I think Ovi and I, we’ve been able to connect on different things.
“I don’t take all of this for granted,” he continued. “Ovi is, in my opinion, one of the best that will ever play. Obviously, I think it makes it a little more special, for me, just how close we are. Been able to do it with everyone, but also him. All of this has been great.”
I asked Chiasson how he ended up with Ovechkin’s jersey and if he would keep it forever.
“Yeah, it’s mine now.”
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