The Stanley Cup was a memorable experience for every player associated with the Washington Capitals, but it may not have impacted a family more than the Oshies.
While a guest on Wayne Gretzky’s new podcast, The Great One on 1, TJ Oshie spoke about his journey to the Stanley Cup and what it meant to celebrate the win with his father on the ice in Vegas. Oshie’s father suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Living and sharing a life with someone in the family who has the disease is very difficult. But it’s the small victories that can become deeply meaningful.
It is also available to listen on Apple Podcasts.
“[It was a] special moment for me and a lot of people have seen the interviews,” Oshie said. “[Jeremy Roenick] actually…this wasn’t even close to my plan of what was going on. I didn’t even know what was happening after we won the Stanley Cup. He just mentioned ‘is your family in the crowd? Is your family here?’ and I instantly started breaking down thinking about my Dad.
“He was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 48,” Oshie continued. “That moment, it kind of all hit me. Eventually, without a cure, this is the way it goes. Eventually, you stop remembering people and you stop remembering things that happened in your life. He’s at the point now, and he was then, he can remember peoples’ names and if you talk to him for a couple minutes you wouldn’t even know. He’d be joking around telling you dirty jokes and making you laugh. But, when you’re around him for a little bit he kind of starts forgetting things. He’ll ask me what time the game is if it’s in the summer. Just things like that.”
But Oshie’s father did not forget the Capitals’ Stanley Cup.
“This moment. I knew it was going to stick with him so to hug him down there and to have him touch and hold the Cup was a special moment,” Oshie said. “And sure enough, he woke up in Vegas the next morning, he was staying with his sister and my sister. He woke up and the first thing he said when he woke up was ‘we got the Cup.’ So, it was pretty cool experience for me to share with him.”
Beyond talking with Gretzky about his father, Oshie also shared his observations on finally beating the Pittsburgh Penguins that year.
“The only sigh of relief we had in the entire playoffs was when we beat Pittsburgh and after that, we felt like we were winning it no matter what,” Oshie said. “It was just pure joy.”
Oshie gave major credit to Alex Ovechkin’s big performance in the postseason for finally getting the Capitals over the hump.
“He was an absolute beast the entire playoffs,” Oshie said of Ovechkin. “Even since then through this regular season and the playoffs this year. I played against him growing up and when we play against him, there is this fire, if he chose to he wasn’t going to be stopped. He really turned that on in our run for the Cup. It bled through the team.
“To see a guy, that in our generation, is probably the best goal scorer we’ve seen, and when he is blocking shots and making hits and setting the tone right from the drop of the puck, it easily gets everyone on board. If Ovi is out there blocking shots and scoring goals and making all these plays, I’ve gotta get down and dirty and do my job, too. He is a special player and one of the biggest parts of why we were able to win the Cup.”
Headline photo: @tjoshie7
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