Andre Burakovsky may be three seasons removed from playing his last game for the Capitals, but his bond remains deep with the current team.
After the Caps’ 3-2 victory over the Avalanche, Burakovsky caught up with his former teammates and one specific brobean that still means very much to him in the bowels of Ball Arena.
Andre Burakovsky seeing old friends pic.twitter.com/qFv0dWvq41
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) April 19, 2022
The Athletic’s Peter Baugh snapped a photo of Burakovsky, who was standing with his girlfriend Johanna, catching up with Tom Wilson, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, and Lars Eller. There is also another unknown person standing with the group who is wearing a powder blue suit.
Burakovsky has never shied away from saying hi to his former friends in the years since leaving DC. We’ve documented Burkie skating up to the Stars’ Braden Holtby during a preseason game and giving a side hug to the Golden Knights’ Chandler Stephenson during a scrum. Burakovsky has taken flights to and from Sweden with both Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson (middle finger warning).
But Burakovsky’s biggest bonding moments have come with Tom Wilson, his former Capitals roommate. The two got close during the Capitals’ 2013 Development Camp and never looked back. Wilson introduced Burakovsky to a brave new world that included macaroni and cheese.
“He learned me a lot of things like eating peanut butter,” Burakovsky said to me in July 2013. “I tasted cinnamon roller. It was really good too. He learned me to eat some different things over here.
“He’s a really good player, a really good friend,” he added. “We have spent some good time together.”
Once both players officially made the NHL, they became roommates again and began (lovingly?) terrorizing each other in different ways.
“I’m not backing down from a challenge,” Burakovsky said. “We had our fights when we were living together and stuff. I didn’t back out then, so I’m not going to do it now either.”
Former Capital Michael Latta, who lived with the two players, confirmed the ridiculousness saying in an interview “they’re always wrestling.” Latta compared Wilson and Burakovsky’s friendship to more of an older-brother-little-brother type of relationship.
Burakovsky played five seasons for the club, scoring 145 points (62g, 83a) in 328 games. The Swedish forward was a core member of the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup championship team, including scoring two huge goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Since being traded for draft picks in the summer of 2019, Burakovsky has grown into the player many thought he could be in Washington with more opportunity. Burakovsky has a career-high 22 goals in 74 games this season and is trending towards hitting the 60-point plateau (58 points) for the first time in his career. The Avalanche have six games remaining in their season.
But every time the Capitals come out west, Burakovsky makes time for them in Denver – such as when he went to dinner with them in February 2020.
Then added that he’d feel better if Burakovsky took him out for dinner rather than cooked for him
“I want to play tomorrow” https://t.co/W6O6QCIpqg
— Ben Raby (@BenRaby31) February 12, 2020
“I talk to them all the time,” Burakovsky said to Tarik El-Bashir. “Trying to catch up. Obviously we don’t see each other as much anymore. It is what it is. As much as we can keep in touch on the phone and in text, it’s good. We’re trying to do it as much as possible.”
When reflecting on Burakovsky’s trade, Wilson told El-Bashir that “The memories with that guy will be forever.” He added, “Burky was a best buddy.”
— b. (@youripides) October 14, 2019
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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