The Vancouver Canucks practiced at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Friday ahead of their game against the Washington Capitals Saturday afternoon at Capital One Arena. The practice marked Jay Beagle’s second return back to his former stomping grounds in the nation’s capital.
The Stanley Cup champion received another hero’s welcome. In fact, Beagle got so much attention from a throng of passionate Caps fans that he missed a team meeting and the Canucks’ bus ride back to the team hotel.
He did not mind at all.
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Jay Beagle got a hero’s welcome again from Caps fans during his return back to DC on Friday. The Capitals play the Canucks Saturday afternoon at Capital One Arena. Beags signed so many autographs and took so many pictures with fans that he missed the team bus back to hotel. (📸 @bitchwhydontukno)
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Fans were tipped off that Beagle and the Canucks would be practicing at MedStar after Vancouver posted that they were flying to the DC area Thursday night. With the Washington Wizards playing at Capital One Arena, the fans knew they needed somewhere to practice and MedStar was the only logical choice.
After the Canucks parked their team bus along the side of Glebe Road, groups of players made it up the elevator to the eighth floor of the complex where the ice skating rinks are located. Beagle emerged in the final group and made his way to a group of Capitals fans that were standing along the sidewalk near the entrance. Beagle waved as fans cheered.
Caps fans love them some Jay Beagle! 🐶😍 pic.twitter.com/lBDnJCkWuV
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 22, 2019
Beagle took time to say hi to each individual fan, engaging in special conversations with some of the tinier Capitals faithful.
Marcus Wu brought a custom poster that he made for Beagle and came bearing a gift: an elusive box of Ovi O’s, which are only sold in the DMV area. The former Capital autographed the sign and happily held up the cereal named after his former captain.
Another fan, Miranda Rosenfelt brought a sign and began crying during her interaction with Jay.
“I cried because Jay Beagle was the first Capitals player I ever met,” Miranda said. “And the interactions we had went a long way towards helping me fall as deeply in love with the team as I did. He is so genuine with his affection for us. He truly cares about how we’re doing. He even asked me if my wrist was ok.” Miranda recently broke her wrist in an accident.
“The fact that through sheer force of will, sweat, grit, and work ethic, he was able to achieve the pinnacle of his sport means a lot,” Miranda added. “I might not be at the top of my craft, but I identify with that mentality. That two years later he still remembers us? Cares as much about us as we do him? Spends all the time as it takes to make sure he doesn’t miss anyone? They say never meet your heroes right? Meet Jay Beagle.”
During his interactions with fans, Beagle said that he enjoyed being in Vancouver because his family is about an hour flight away. They can come to games whenever and don’t have to plan an entire vacation around seeing him. Beagle’s sister lives near Vancouver so Jay sees his nieces and nephews a lot more. Beagle also revealed that he’s going to start taking his daughter hunting with him soon.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) November 22, 2019
As for tomorrow’s game, Beagle said there’s a chance he won’t play. He has an injury that he’s dealing with and he’s not sure the doctors will let him play.
Beagle was going to spend Friday night having dinner with his former teammates.
During Beagle’s first game back to Capital One Arena last February, fans overwhelmed the team’s former fourth-line center with signs. Beagle cried during a tribute video the Capitals made for him and hugged Alex Ovechkin between the team’s two benches. He also teared up during his postgame interview.
“Obviously [it was] really special,” Beagle said. “I didn’t really expect that to be honest with you. It’s something I’ll remember forever. Obviously a great fanbase here. To have that response, to me coming back, is special. It really is.”
Jay Beagle has some kind of reception today @MedStarIceplex. Neat thing that @Tarik_ElBashir & I observed: Jay was still at rink 90mins after #Canucks busses had left. He was just roaming the building, saying hello to so many team/arena emplyoees from coaches to cooks to trainers https://t.co/cu1fWPF7R8
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) November 23, 2019
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