Washington Capitals News: Hunter Shepard open to return, Hershey Bears party with the Calder Cup

Hunter Shepard, Hershey Bears
Hunter Shepard, Hershey Bears /

We are one day away from the 2023 NHL Draft where the Washington Capitals hold five picks beginning with the number eighth pick in the first round.

There will be a ton of Caps articles from yours truly and hopefully a contributor or two about the kids they could draft. We’ll keep pumping them out.

But let’s check out some news not only surrounding the Capitals but the new Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears.

Run It Back? Free Agent Hunter Shepard Would Welcome Return To Capitals Org

(Jared Serre/Washington Hockey Now)

Hunter Shepard was a beast in Hershey’s run to the Calder Cup. He’ll also be a big prize to any team looking to build off a young goaltender as he enters free agency. The 27 year old though told Serre of WHN that he would rather be back with the Capitals organization.

Shepard was the number two goaltender during the regular season but took on an increased role during the Calder Cup playoffs by starting in all 20 of their playoff games. He had the second best goals against average and when all was said and done took home the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy given to the MVP of the playoffs.

Behind the scenes of the Hershey Bears’ 2023 Calder Cup championship celebration at Giant Center

(Ian Oland/RMNB)

Hershey did not throw a parade, probably because the town isn’t big enough but I would’ve at least done a parade through Hershey Park. They instead held a championship celebration at Giant Center on Saturday afternoon where fans could welcome home their heroes.

Some lucky fans even got to meet their heroes during an autograph signing after the festivities. Others? Not so much.

Zack Fisch, the voice of the Bears, was fittingly the master of ceremonies as players took the stage with the trophy to cheers of the fans.

Back to my Hershey Park obsession. If I was on the Bears and I got a day with the Cup I’d take it with me on every single roller coaster.

Capitals enter 2023 NHL Draft with simple, yet understandable approach 

(Ethan Cadeaux/NBC Sports Washington)

Recently Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney met with the media. His approach to take the “best player available” couldn’t be any more important than it is this year. It’s a big draft for Mahoney. He and Brian MacLellan both know they have to nail this pick.

Related Story. Top 5 players the Capitals must draft. light

Let’s hope that best available player is a winger. If it’s Matvei Michkov? Cool. If you have to trade up, do it. Get your popcorn ready draft night is almost here.