Lars Eller scored the biggest goal in Washington Capitals history. On June 7, 2018, Eller sniffed out a Brett Connolly rebound sitting behind Marc-Andre Fleury’s backside and shot the puck into the back of the net. The goal gave the Capitals a 4-3 lead with 7:37 remaining in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final. The Capitals would go on to win a championship for the very first time.
That valuable puck, however, did not travel home either with NHL officials or the Capitals.
After Eller potted the goal, an understandably frustrated Pierre-Édouard Bellemare flipped the puck towards the end boards. The biscuit went into the crowd at T-Mobile Arena.
“I do (have the Vegas puck). I have a good story to that,” Eller said to Raby. “I have it at home and I’ll frame it soon.
“The story is, Tony Robbins tracked down the puck and got it for me,” Eller said. “So apparently, this is the version that I got, after I scored the goal, one of the Vegas players shot the puck up into the stands and some fan caught it. The camera showed this fan that caught it and somehow Tony or one of his associates tracked this person down and bought the puck from this guy for an unknown amount.
“I don’t know if the transaction happened that night, but I didn’t get the call from Tony until weeks later,” Eller continued. “It might have taken him a little while, I’m not sure.”
Robbins is a famous life coach and motivational speaker who has ties to the Capitals. Robbins regularly hosts seminars. According to Wikipedia, Robbins was named to the Worth Magazine Power 100 list in both 2015 and 2016. Robbins is a friend and business partner of Ted Leonsis.
During the 2017-18 season, the Capitals participated in a team-building event with Robbins. It’s actually where Eller got his nickname Tiger.
— Tony Robbins (@TonyRobbins) April 5, 2017
“It was a Tony Robbins seminar we had with the team,” Eller explained in a September 2018 press conference. “I was up on the stage, I think we had to choose some personal, like a spiritual animal or something. I yelled out ‘tiger’ and from that day on, it was just. The guys were loving it. It’s been Tiger from that day.”
Robbins joined the Capitals out on the ice after the team won the Stanley Cup. Robbins posted a video on Facebook saying he was happy to “play a small part on their incredible journey.” The video contains short clips of that 2017 seminar. Highlights included punching pieces of wood, yelling “I will not be denied!,” and some sort of hand-to-hand grappling.
A little later, Eller said that “I got a random call from Ted [Leonsis] that summer. He said ‘I’m sitting here with Tony and he has something to tell you.'” That was the moment that Robbins told Eller he had the puck, which he presumably paid thousands for, to give to him as a gift.
“It was an unbelievable gesture and effort that he put into doing something special for me and I’m forever grateful for that,” Eller said.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) November 13, 2019
One year after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup, several women came forward with stories of sexual abuse and harassment by Robbins.
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