Photo: NHL Via Getty Images
In the Capitals’ 44-year history, 14 players have had the captain’s “C” adorn their sweater. In their tumultuous and disastrous inaugural season (1974-75), the “C” was worn by longtime NHLer Doug Mohns. In this latest Capitals Alumni Profile, NoVa Caps takes a look back at his Capitals career.
The Capitals acquired the late Mohns, who at the time was 41, in a trade with the then-Atlanta Flames; in exchange for cash considerations pm June 20, 1974. Prior to being acquired by the expansion Capitals, Mohns had spent time with the Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota North Stars and Boston Bruins.
As the oldest player on the team, Mohns was an easy choice for captain and having played with players such as Bobby Orr, the Capitals hoped Mohns’ experience and leadership would prove useful to the first-year team. Mohns was known as a versatile player during his career, playing both as a forward and defenseman. While he did play left wing at times during his first and only season with the Caps, he served primarily as a blueliner. In 75 games played with the Capitals in 1974-75, Mohns scored two goals and added 19 assists for 21 points, with a minus-54 rating in what was the worst season in NHL history for not only an inaugural team, but any team from 1949 to the present day (8-67-5). Mohns’ 21 points was good enough for eighth-most on the team after the season, he retired from the NHL at the age of 41.
Mohns was one of the first players in the history of the league to wear a helmet and while his tenure with the Capitals was a brief one, he will always hold the distinction of being the first Capital to wear the iconic “C” on his sweater and his leadership and experience through what was an absolute catastrophe of a year for the Capitals. Mohns passed away in 2014 at the age of 80 in Massachusetts.
By Michael Fleetwood
Check out NoVa Caps’ other Capitals Alumni Profiles here.