Ten-year-old Will Altman is just about the biggest Tom Wilson fan around–and for good reason. While he thinks of Tom Wilson as his best friend, he wanted to make sure the feeling was mutual. During Game One of the Capitals’ first-round series against the Hurricanes, he brought a poster that asked: “Tom Wilson am I your friend?”
He got a tap on the glass from Tom during Game One, but during Game Two, he not only got a wave and a smile–he also got an enthusiastic thumbs up. What does Will think about that?
“We are officially friends now!”
Will’s friendship may have only become “official” recently, but the connection between the two goes back much longer. Will’s sister and friend of the blog, Claire Altman, was kind enough to share Will’s thoughts and some stories about this die-hard Caps fan family.
When Will became a Capitals fan his favorite player was Ovechkin “because that’s what all little kids first start liking,” according to Will. Eventually Will’s affections shifted to Tom because “he scores goals a lot–well, most of the time. He is big and tough and no one wants to get him.”
It’s not just Wilson’s goal-scoring and toughness that endeared him to Will (and to all Caps fans, given the way he’s been playing recently). It’s because “He is always nice to me at practices and when we saw them after the airport after the Penguins series last season.”
The Altman family went to the airport to welcome home the team after their series victory against the Penguins last season. “Willy heard my little brother call him,” Claire said, “and was sweet enough to come over and say hi.”
Wilson had also thrown Will a puck at a regular season game against the Stars.
When Will later brought it to the Capitals practice facility to get it signed, Wilson remembered who Will was and took a picture with him.
Understandably, Will’s previous poster for warmups read “Wilson is my best friend,” complete with the picture of the two of them together.
The Altman family have been fans for over a decade. Their kids’ first game was the 10-2 thrashing of the Bruins in March of 2008 when Ovechkin reached his second 50-goal season by registering a hat-trick in the first period. They’ve been going to games and practices ever since.
Will’s latest sign will become part of a growing collection of memorabilia. A friendly staff member at Capital One Arena, nicknamed “Ace,” has provided a few pucks for Will’s collection over the years to help support his love of the game. He is “super, super sweet,” Claire said, “and always says hello to Will and our family at games.”
Will, of course, always draws “Ace” pictures and writes him thank you notes.
The puck from the Dallas Stars game, his “pride and joy,” according to Claire, has its own special place on Will’s bookshelf “because it was given by Willy and signed by Willy”–his official best friend.
Headline photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
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