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Here Are Capitals Players’ Favorite Moments With the Stanley Cup

TJ Oshie, Braden Holtby, Devante Smith-Pelly, and others share their stories
Patrick McDermott/Washington Capitals Photography.

The Stanley Cup had one heck of a summer with the Washington Capitals, circling the globe and being filled with everything from champagne to ice cream cake to fruit snacks. So ahead of the team’s home opener, we had to ask the guys: What was your most memorable moment with Lord Stanley’s cup? Here’s what they said.

Nicklas Bäckström

Veteran center Nicklas Bäckström, who’s been with the team since the 2007-08 season, was generally just happy to welcome the Stanley Cup to his home country of Sweden. “That was pretty cool. You don’t notice how big of a deal the Stanley Cup is until you win it, until you bring it home and see how everyone’s interested in it and wants to see it, and touch it, and take pictures with it.” He and the fam took the Cup out on the water at their place on the Baltic Sea.

Devante Smith-Pelly

While Devante Smith-Pelly was stoked to have his friends and family meet the Stanley Cup in his native Toronto, he says that if he had to pick his favorite moment, it’d be when he visited the city’s Hospital for Sick Children. “I mean, they all were smiling and laughing and getting a chance to have some fun, even though they were going through some tough stuff. I think one of the little girls was like, six, and she just had brain surgery not long ago. That stood out,” he says. (He also had some fun with the Cup. When asked what he drank out of it, he replied, “What didn’t I drink out of it?”)

TJ Oshie

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Says forward winger TJ Oshie, “I did almost everything that I wanted to do with the Cup. The only thing I didn’t do was bring it to Seattle, which I wanted to do but there wasn’t enough time in the day.” He did get to eat the breakfast of champions from it, and let his kids pose with it in bed à la Ovechkin. “They thought it was ours to keep forever.”

Matt Niskanen

Defenseman Matt Niskanen took the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Virginia, Minnesota, where he was presented with a key to the city and dined on fruit snacks from the Cup with his son, Charlie. His favorite moment? Taking it on a boat ride with Charlie and father. “Just the three of us. We were on my place at Lake Vermillion in Minnesota. My father and I would fish together all the time when I was growing up. We’d talk about hockey while we fished. So it was kind of our thing.”

Braden Holtby

Goalie Braden Holtby welcomed the Cup to his home province of Saskatchewan, Canada. His favorite moment with the Cup was having a campfire at his lake house with around a dozen of his and his wife’s closest friends. What’d they drink out of it? “Basically just beer and champagne. The usual,” he says. “It got mixed by the end.” As for his kids? “DQ ice cream cake.”

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Kim Olsen
Associate Editor

Kim Olsen joined Washingtonian in 2016 after moving to DC from Pittsburgh, where she earned an MFA in nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Alexandria.