Darcy Kuemper and Nicolas Aube-Kubel were part of a very special run to the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche last season. The two helped the Avs win the franchise’s third championship and the organization’s first since the 2000-01 campaign.
The two current members of the Washington Capitals returned to their former home ice at Ball Arena for the first time as visitors on Tuesday. The Avalanche welcomed them back with a joint tribute video in celebration of what they accomplished in 2022.
Welcome back, boys!
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 25, 2023
Kuemper sported a 10-4 record in the 2022 playoffs for the Avs with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage as he helped backstop Colorado to the Cup victory. The 32-year-old netminder signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with the Capitals this past summer.
Aube-Kubel got into 14 playoff games for Colorado. He signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs over the offseason, but was claimed off waivers by Washington in early November.
The two received a warm ovation from the fans in attendance. It was an ovation that Kuemper didn’t really expect given he only spent one season in Denver before moving to the Caps. Pregame, he was skeptical he would even get a tribute video.
“I was only here for one year, I don’t know,” Kuemper told The Denver Post.
Kuemper and Aube-Kubel, playing in Denver for the first time since helping the Avs to the Stanley Cup, got a video tribute and a warm reception from the capacity crowd. #Caps pic.twitter.com/xcSJGHVCYh
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) January 25, 2023
The tribute video featured one signature moment from the Cup celebrations following the final horn that Aube-Kubel surely will remember for the rest of his life. The 26-year-old, Alberta native dropped Lord Stanley right before the team’s customary on-ice team photo. The 130-year-old trophy sported a mean dent afterward but otherwise was no worse for wear.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 27, 2022
“Kuemper was asking me, ‘What do you think the chances are they put that on the big screen?’” Aube-Kubel said Tuesday.
His answer to that question was, “Pretty high,” and he turned out to be right on the money. However, it’s not something that the rugged forward is ashamed of. In fact, he embraces it.
“It’s part of my journey here,” Aube-Kubel continued. “Hopefully they have some highlights they can show. Not just that. But yeah, I think it was funny and part of the celebration. And that was the best time of my life, that week there. Whatever I see on the screen will just bring me good memories.”
The two already received their championship rings from the Avs after a 4-0 loss to their old teammates at Capital One Arena in DC on November 19. This tribute video now brings that part of their NHL journeys to a close.
Congratulations again, boys!
Screenshot via @Tarik_ElBashir/Twitter
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