Mike Green, Troy Brouwer, Eric Fehr and Joel Ward. Chances are you know these names even if you are not a rabid hockey lover. They’ve managed to provide enough impact to garner name recognition among even the most passive Caps fans. Sadly, for some fans, 2015 was the year the Washington Capitals traded their favorite player.
Green fans saw this coming as rumbling of trade talks started early last season. His monster 18.25 million / 3-year contract was ending and rumor was he wanted a large sum, long-term contract. His numbers in recent seasons weren’t even close to his peak years and it seemed he had priced himself out of a contract. Green played his entire pro career in Washington and won’t be forgotten soon as he’ll always be remembered as one of the clubs elite defensemen.
Troy Brouwer was a quick fan favorite due to his easy-going temperament, team-first mentality and previous Stanley Cup win. He was a consistent and steady player who racked up over 80 games played three out of his four seasons with the Caps. I was sad to see him leave Washington but he now has the distinct honor of being included in one of the biggest trades to happen this offseason.
Eric Fehr was a solid player who you always felt really showed up. This trade probably upset me more than it should have just for the simple fact that poor Eric Fehr is now in Pittsburgh. As a native Pennsylvanian, it’s the joke I hear most often. “That’s the worst state for professional sports!” Fehr will be missed. He was DC’s Winter Classic King! He was never the fastest or the player most-likely to end up in a highlight reel, but he played hard and it seemed as if he took fans’ appreciation to heart.
The loss of Joel Ward, aka Mr. Humble, will surely be felt on the ice and in the locker room this season. He seemed to be able to rally the fans and players in clutch situations. It makes sense that his 100th career NHL point and 1st point as a Capital was an assist. By all accounts, he always has his teammate’s backs. DC’s loss is surely San Jose’s gain. Despite the fact that he looks like a rookie, he’s grown into a seasoned veteran that will bring depth and character to the Sharks. For all the Ward fans, do yourself a favor and see him play in San Jose should you have the chance. The Tank is beautiful and you’ll have the opportunity to see him skate through a glowing sharks head.
It will be difficult to see them skate their first game in a new team uniform. These were three great players that each brought their own style to the game. They seemed to be fantastic teammates and judging from their charity work, excellent humans. If your favorite player was traded this year, don’t lose hope. Fehr played the 2011-2102 season for the Jets then returned to the Caps. I’ll cheer for them when they score (as long as it isn’t against us) and I will still wear t-shirts and jerseys emblazoned with their names. It’s always acceptable to applaud former Caps; unless their names are Semin or Jagr.
By Robyn Diehl