“It has been ten perfect days for me. Being at Verizon Center for the President’s trophy deciding game against Blue Jackets was fun. As well as my first Caps road game in New Jersey and the second one in Philly, including a goal by Alex Ovechkin”. Bjoern sums up his experience.
When the Caps played against the Blue Jackets, Bjoern met a special fan at Verizon Center. André Kohrs, stadium announcer and fan of Adendorfer EC, fourth league german team near Hamburg and the team Bjoern has been cheering for since he was sixteen years old. ‘It was fun to see somebody wearing the blue and yellow Adendorf jersey 6000 kilometres away from home at the Verizon Center.’
Another special moment for him was the game against St. Louis at Verizon Center. Philipp Grubauer, german-born goalie of the Caps, started that game. “I met Grubi last year in Hershey. He’s a friendly guy and a great goaltender. Seeing him now playing in D.C. was a dream come true for me, even if the team had not played a good game that night. I hope that the Caps will have the duo of Holtbeast and Grubeast in net for a long time.”
Two days after that game Bjoern visited the Capitals at their home at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia. “It’s always great to see how many fans are appearing at practice. I talked to Grubi and he finally signed his game worn jersey from last season’s play-off win against the Islanders, which is part of my collection. In that game, he became the first german-born play-off starter in the NHL and Germany’s biggest hockey magazine ‘Eishockey News’ wrote an article about that jersey and my game worn collection.”
The source of that jersey – as well as of many others – is a company located in New Jersey. MeiGray sells game worn jerseys and other items for a few NHL teams including Washington. When Bjoern continued his trip after the Caps game in Philadelphia, he visited the fine folks at MeiGray. “I’ve ordered a lot of jerseys over the last few years from there and wanted to take the chance of meeting Barry, his team and seeing this great place for hockey fans and sports memorabilia collectors. There are thousands of great jerseys, sticks, gloves or pucks. Fans can get stuff of their favorite players on www.meigray.com.”
Bjoern had the chance to take a picture with a game worn jersey of his favorite player – Alex Ovechkin. “Well – about 8000 dollars. A great piece of hockey history but a little too expensive for me right now. Maybe one day I’ll get a Gamer of The Gr8. If somebody who reads this has a lot of money and wants to make a collectors’ dream come true – just contact these NoVa Caps guys”, Bjoern jokes.
Instead of an eight he took a double eight jersey on his MeiGray visit. “Schmidty is playing a great season and it’s always fun to watch him on and off ice. I’m happy to add one of his home jerseys from the current season to my collection. He scored a goal against Colorado in November wearing that jersey”.
Now Bjoern is back in Germany. “I’ve met a lot of great people. Caps fans from D.C., New York, Finland and of course Adendorf. I’ve seen four games of a fantastic season and had some great moments during my trip I’ll never forget. There’s so much struggle and sad things in this world, but hockey and sports in general are able to connect people from all over the world and make them smile. I hope that I’ll be back in D.C. as soon as possible to support my Caps again. But first of all let me wish the team good luck for the playoffs. We all would love to see that cup in the capital city. Some west teams may be hard to play but in general there will be a chance. So Let’s Go Caps! Some guys in Germany and fans from all over the world will be watching.
By Jon Sorensen