Photo: Ted Leonsis
It’s simply a fact of life. Having to say a final “goodbye” to people or things that are important to us is just inevitable. It’s happens to us in all walks of life, and sports are no different.
Recently Caps fans had to (regretfully) detach from quite a few favorite players, such as Mike Green, Brooks Laich, Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer and Eric Fehr. Fortunately we’ve had a chance as fans to pay tribute and says thanks when the players returned to Verizon Center, donning uniforms of their new team. But for me, I felt one more “thank you” always remained.
Don’t get me wrong. I fully grasp the fact that not all players are fortunate enough to receive one final current call. That’s just the way the world works. But for John Erskine, it just seemed different to me, for he wouldn’t sign with another team, but simply, and quietly, ride off into his Capitals sunset. Both John and Caps Nation would never get a chance to say thanks.
Erskine has been in town since Monday. It was reported that he was back to visit with doctors related to an existing medical condition. Erskine was able to attend Monday’s game against the Sabres. John would visit the Capitals after the game, as well as his old boss.
Photo: Ted Leonsis
A THANK YOU FROM CAPS NATION!
John would also attend Wednesday night’s game against the Bruins. During the first television timeout of the second period, John would finally receive his much-deserved “thank you” from Caps faithful at Verizon Center.
The Man! The Myth! The Legend! @johnerskine04 was at Verizon Center for #CapsBruins and the crowd went nuts! #RockTheRed#BigBadJohn#Errrskpic.twitter.com/ishJH3tydB
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 8, 2016
Erskine seemed pretty excited about the tribute, stating on his Instagram account “What a moment! Standing O”.
Here are a few of the scenes from Erskine’s return to the DMV:
It would be John’s wife, Karie, who would put it best:
So great to call @johnerskine04‘s name at Verizon again. A great Capital, a better guy. #CapsBruins pic.twitter.com/PBqswKtqWK
— Wes Johnson (@WesJohnsonVoice) December 8, 2016
@johnerskine04 legend 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/YVL9HQaBZn
— ⚡️ (@teejayy94) December 8, 2016
@johnerskine04 thank you for everything! You were always a fav in our home! And you SO made this guys day! #letsgocaps #RocktheRed pic.twitter.com/OkxQIwjz4D
— Elisabeth Tefft (@Tefftalicious) December 8, 2016
Big John, last night, teaching a young fan the tricks of the trade: 🙂
It did my heart good to see “Big John” get his due. There will always be a part of me that wishes he was still with the Caps. But for now, its homeward bound for big John, to bigger and better things.
Thanks Caps Nation for making this happen, but most importantly, thank you, John Erskine. A Washington Capitals forever.
By Jon Sorensen
Thank you, John!
Big Bad John off ice is a gentle giant. Proud of you John as is Georgie smiling down on you with bursting pride.
So true, had the pleasure to meet him, and he was as nice of a person as you will ever meet.
My 1st and only CAPs jersey sports #04 for Big Bad John Erskine…Thank you John! Your the reason I started to watch hockey.