There 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.
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