Washington Capitals: Eleven Reasons To Be Thankful

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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Support Staff

Running a professional hockey organization as flawlessly as the Washington Capitals have done in recent years has been by no coincidence. It takes assistant coaches like Lane Lambert, Todd Reirden, Blaine Forsythe, Mitch Korn and Scott Murray to repeatedly run drills and help the players achieve their best.

It takes trainers like Greg Smith and Ben Reisz keeping our players’ health in good hands. It takes dedicated equipment staff like Brock Myles and Craig Leydig to remember each player’s preferences before games. It takes people like Pace Sagester, Manager of Media Relations and their team to keep fans (like me) informed with what’s happening off the ice. There are so many others. We have an awesome crew surrounding the team. Our thanks to all of you.

In fact, there are quite a number of people working for the team, doting on players and working long hours, that you’ve probably never been made aware of. Remember when the entire league and its fans thought Alex Ovechkin was a coach-killing, lazy, selfish trash bag of a hockey player?

They don’t say that anymore – in part because of Alex’s genuine goodness as a person, but also because of the people in the Caps’ HR department, Marketing, and front office. I’m glad they did their jobs and we don’t have to listen to as much of that old popular opinion garbage. They set the record straight on Ovechkin and continue to find imaginative ways to bring us our favorite sport. Kudos.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention being thankful for majority owner Ted Leonsis or team President Dick Patrick. Unlike other teams’ leaders, they’ve surrounded themselves and the team with experts of their craft and continually provide incentives for fans to become closer with the players and coaches. I love our team. That didn’t happen overnight, but their direction has helped to cement it for me for years to come.

Probably my favorite part of our teams’ support staff has to be our media coverage. John Walton and Ken Sabourin have kept me close to the team with their insight over the new Caps Radio Network while Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin continue to be the best broadcasting duo in all of televised sports on CSN Mid-Atlantic. Of course, Courtney Laughlin is also a joy to see on our television no matter what.

If you travel outside of the Washington area and then come back, you really realize it: we are incredibly lucky to have such talented people (and their support) covering our team.

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