One More “Thank You” Is Finally Made

Photo: Ted Leonsis

opinionIt’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

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.


Erskine seemed pretty excited about the tribute, stating on his Instagram account “What a moment! Standing O”.

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What a moment! ! Standing O

A post shared by John Erskine (@johnerskine04) on


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:


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Good to be back

A post shared by John Erskine (@johnerskine04) on


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.

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Afternoon nap with daddy!

A post shared by John Erskine (@johnerskine04) on


Thanks Caps Nation for making this happen, but most importantly, thank you, John Erskine. A Washington Capitals forever.

By Jon Sorensen

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"Big Heavy's" @tom_wilso and @johnerskine04

A post shared by NoVa Caps (@nova_caps) on

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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4 Responses to One More “Thank You” Is Finally Made

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Thank you, John!

  2. Ann VanKoughnet says:

    Big Bad John off ice is a gentle giant. Proud of you John as is Georgie smiling down on you with bursting pride.

  3. Doug Jones says:

    My 1st and only CAPs jersey sports #04 for Big Bad John Erskine…Thank you John! Your the reason I started to watch hockey.

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