One More “Thank You” Still Remains

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editorialThere is no question, this season has brought a ton of excitement to Capitals fans world-wide. The team is off to its best start in franchise history, not to mention the best start in NHL history.  However, the past year hasn’t been a complete bowl full of cherries for Caps fans. In fact, it’s been an extremely tough year for Capitals fans with respect to departures from the Capitals community.

Collectively, Caps fans have had to say goodbye to some of our all-time favorites. Brooks Laich, Mike Green, Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer and Eric Fehr were long-time staples in the Caps organization, and within an eight month period…all of them were gone. Thankfully we’ve had our chance to say one final thanks, primarily through tributes at games, when the players returned to Verizon Center as an opponent. Saying thanks is a must for us. Selfishly, it helps us as individuals move forward, but more importantly, the players deserve it. Unfortunately, I feel we’ve still got one more “thank you” to make: Thank you John Erskine.


Elsa/Getty Images

Erskine originally signed with the Capitals organization on September 14, 2006. After a decade of service to the team and to the community, John’s career with the Capitals came to an end this past summer.

Unlike the aforementioned players who departed for other teams, and thus would eventually return to town to receive one final “thank you” from Caps fans, John didn’t go to another team, didn’t get his much deserved return, and thus his Capitals tenure would end with a quiet dissolution. A silent passage, if you will. This is not a Capitals problem, but an issue with being a sports fan in general. We emotionally invest, whether we like it or not, and sometimes business changes things we’ve grown to love.

As a fan, I’d love to see the Capitals have “Big John” down for a game, and to hold some form of tribute, so that Caps fans have the chance to say thanks to him. As a Caps fan, I feel its needed, but more importantly, as a member of the community, I feel John has earned it.

By Jon Sorensen


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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9 Responses to One More “Thank You” Still Remains

  1. Christine C says:

    I absolutely agree! My girls and I love Erskine! My youngest was just 4 when he came to The Caps and he had scraggly red hair and quite the attitude on the ice, so she named him Animal and that’s what we always called him. He quickly became a much loved Animal and we were sad to hear he wouldn’t be back. I hope he is doing well and is healed completely! Thank you Erskine!!

  2. Chris trice says:

    I completely agree John Erskine was always one of my favorite players. Silently getting the job done. Not fast. No scoring machine but a steady Eddie who always came to the defense of his teammates.

  3. Matt says:

    That is an awesome idea! John was a solid figure on the Caps for so many years. He brought a lot of excitement to the games with big hits and the odd tussle. He was a kind of player fans loved to watch – it would be great if they could say thanks officially.
    On a personal note he is a great guy too! I met him, and his family, when our girls went to the same school. I had heard he was an NHL player, but, wasn’t familiar with his name or style of game. Off the ice he is a quiet, easy going guy, very patient with the kids. Because of this I started to follow him, and the Caps, a bit…and was almost converted from my childhood team (the ol’ Leafs…go ahead, I’m used to the jokes, haha).
    The Capitals seem like a really great organization, I bet they’ll do something for John soon. Thanks for bringing this up.

  4. Loyal Stewart says:

    This is a good idea! I always loved to watch Big John play. Hard working and steady. Nobody messed with our goalie with him on D. I have his jersey and a signed puck proudly displayed behind my bar.

  5. Pingback: One More “Thank You” Is Finally Made | NoVa Caps

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