The Washington Capitals made a major splash in free agency this year, signing Darcy Kuemper, Charlie Lindgren, Dylan Strome, Henrik Borgstrom, and Erik Gustafsson to UFA deals. The team also traded with Ottawa for winger Connor Brown.
With all these new players, an important question emerges: How does one successfully integrate all these new guys into the fabric of the team?
According to TJ Oshie, the answer is fantasy football.
“The new group, it’s exciting,” Oshie said after the first day of Training Camp. “You always miss the guys that are gone and the guys that aren’t here. Sometimes when you get four or five new faces, it kind of feels a little fresh after not having the success we wanted to have a couple years in a row. I’m excited to see them mesh, what line they’re going to fall on, what D pairing they’re going to fall on, how the goalie tandem is going to do back there.
“They all seem like super great guys,” Oshie added. “They jumped on board for the fantasy football league and came out golfing with us. They’re great guys and they fit in really well. So it’s going to be fun to bring that chemistry that we already got off the ice onto the ice.”
Honestly, now I’m just dying to know what some of the team names are. I’m imagining:
Ovi: The Rushing Machines
Tom Wilson: Necessary Roughness
Nick: The Quarterbackstroms
Oshie: TJ’s TDs
Dylan: Strome’s Gnomes
Carly: Carlson Wentz
Hagelin: The Washington Carlmanders
Nic: 4th Dowd and Inches
CM24: The Best Connor Mc
Other Connors: New to Townie Brownie
Fehervary: Reelin’ Fishes Like I’m Stealin’ Kisses
Mr. Darcy Kuemper: Pride & Squibble Kicks
Garnish: Hathway To The Goal Line
Blaine Forsyth: Slingshot4Ever
Peter Laviolette: Peter Laviolette’s Fantasy Football Team
Oshie also spoke about the Capitals’ new veteran battery in net of Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren. While he admitted that he’d really miss the Capitals’ former young goalie tandem in Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek, he was excited to see what type of stability they could bring. Lindgren, Oshie added, had already made a big impression on the team just with his big personality.
“To have a guy like Kuemper who obviously has to have a lot of confidence in his ability, not just last year, the last couple years, one of the best goalies in the league, it’s great to have that back there, and have that rock when we’re not playing our best and make all the saves that he’s supposed to make,” Oshie said. “Super excited to have him. Chuck (Charlie Lindgren) is an awesome guy. I love that guy. He’s been great in the locker room and on the ice, working with guys doing the extra stuff in practice, playing the little games at the end. That’s the fun stuff where you really bond and get better. It’s a great tandem and I’m excited to see them work.”