The Washington Capitals have been surprisingly blessed at right wing through their history. They’ve had two Hall of Famers, one should be Hall of Famer, and a future Hall of Famer (albeit a huge jerk). Choosing four should be a tough decision. The candidates at right wing for the Washington Capitals All-Time team are: Peter Bondra, Mike Gartner, Dino Ciccarelli, Jaromir Jagr, Bengt-Ake Gustafsson, Dave Christian, and Craig Laughlin. In case you have missed the previous posts:
I’ve already written at length about how the Washington Capitals have to retire Bondra’s number, so I’m not going to bore you by repeating how important he was, and still is, to the Washington Capitals. Here are his stats with the Washington Capitals:
- Second in games played (961)
- First in goals (472)
- Eighth in assists (353)
- First in points (825)
- First in even strength goals (303)
- Second in power play goals (137)
- First in short handed goals (32
- First in game winning goals (73)
In short, Bondra was pretty much Alex Ovechkin, except that Bondra wasn’t quite as good on offense, but Bondra was certainly better defensively than Ovechkin.
Gartner is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and has his jersey number (11) retired by the Washington Capitals. Gartne was probably the first offensive “star” of the Washington Capitals. Once Gartner and teammate and friend Rod Langway came to Washington, the Capitals found relevance. Gartner’s stats with the Washington Capitals over 10 seasons:
- Sixth in game played (758)
- Third in goals (397)
- Second in assists (392)
- Third in points (789)
- Second in even strength goals (288)
- Third in power play goals (98)
- Sixth in short handed goals (11)
- Third in game winning goals (54)
- Third in goals per game (0.52)
- Fourth in points per game (1.04)
Gartner was an extremely important member of the Washington Capitals in the 1980’s and helped put the Capitals on the map.
Dino was not a member of the Washington Capitals for long, as he only played four seasons with them, but he is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 223 games with the Capitals, Dino had the following stats:
- 112 goals
- 97 assists
- 209 points
- Fourth in goals per game (0.50)
- Ninth in points per game (0.94)
- Tied for fourth with three hat tricks
Injuries really cost Dino during his time with the Capitals, but he put up impressive numbers considering he played in a defense-first system.
I wasn’t even going to include Jagr as a candidate because of my disdain for him, but I decided to leave the choice to the voters. Yes, Jagr was a jerk who often looked like he didn’t care and he set the Washington Capitals back several years, but he was a pretty good player. His stats with the Capitals over three seasons (two full seasons and a part of another):
- 190 games
- 83 goals
- 118 assists
- 201 points
- Seventh in goals per game (0.44)
- Fifth in assists per game (0.62)
- Third in points per game (1.06)
If you don’t want to vote for Jagr because he’s a jerk, I understand. If you want to vote for him, I understand.
Before Nicklas Backstrom, there was the original Super Swede: Gustafsson. In nine season with the Washington Capitals, Gustafsson had the following stats:
- 629 games played
- Sixth in goals (196)
- Seventh in assists (359)
- Sixth in points (555)
- Seventh in even strength goals (130)
- Second in short handed goals (17)
- Fourth in game winning goals (33)
- Eighth in assists per game (0.57)
Gustafsson was not a star by any stretch of the imagination, but he was an extremely good role player who knew his role and was a big reason for the Washington Capitals’ success in the 1980’s.
Christian’s lasting impact on hockey extends far beyond his tenure with the Washington Capitals. He was a member of the 1980 USA Men’s Hockey Team that won the gold medal and performed the “Miracle On Ice”. In seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, Christian accumulated the following stats:
- 504 games
- Seventh in goals (193)
- 224 assists
- 417 points
- Ninth in even strength goals (123)
- Sixth in power play goals (67)
- Tenth in goals per game (0.38)
Most Washington Capitals fans remember Laughlin for his time in the broadcast booth and his “Hold It Here” segments (which are a personal favorite of mine). However, Laughlin did play for the Washington Capitals for six seasons (five full seasons, and a part of another). His career stats with the Capitals:
- 428 games
- 110 goals
- 173 assists
- 283 points
- 284 penalty minutes
Laughlin was a respectable forward during his time with the Washington Capitals, and he certainly deserves to be a candidate for the All-Time Team.
Mike Knuble, Troy Brouwer.
It’s time to vote for the right wings. You can vote for up to four. The four with the most votes will be named to the Washington Capitals All-Time Team. If there’s a tie for fourth place, there will be a vote off between the tied candidates. Voting for right wings will close on September 10th at 11:59 PM.
Next up: Voting for a surprise position on the Washington Capitals All-Time Team!