Former Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner did not play hockey during the 2020-21 season after being bought out of the final two years of a five-year contract by the Montreal Canadiens in October. After nine years in DC, Alzner left the Caps for the Habs in the summer of 2017 as an unrestricted free agent.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, in his latest 31 Thoughts column, reported that Alzner continues to watch the Habs, who are currently competing in the Stanley Cup semifinal, every night. The two-time Calder Cup and World Junior champion is determined to come back and resume his career next season.
“I’m open to anything, willing to go anywhere,” Alzner said to Friedman Monday. “I have something to prove, and if anyone’s looking to bring in someone with a chip on their shoulder, I’d be the guy.”
Friedman said that Alzner skated in Kelowna during the offseason with Shea Weber, Ethan Bear, Joel Edmundson, Curtis Lazar, Tyler Myers, Brent Seabrook, and the Schenn brothers (Luke and Brayden) and plans to do so again this summer. “Alzner’s focused on his skill development, specifically mentioning Connor McDavid and Power Edge Pro,” Friedman wrote. “If our conversation revealed one thing, it’s that he’s very determined.”
Without a team, Alzner turned to TV and debuted as an analyst for NBC Sports Washington. Alzner was a natural and well-received by Capitals fans for his segments during the pre and postgame shows. He even weathered a power outage during his debut game with the network.
“I had gone through my head earlier in the day that the wind was picking up,” Alzner recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh man, it would be a tough day to lose power’ because we just had the power go out a week ago with a wind storm. A tree hit a power line. I didn’t think it was actually going to happen but sure enough, the power went out during the second period.”
Alzner, who had an ironman streak of 622 games, scored 130 points (20g, 110a) during his 12 years in the NHL.
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