Thank You, Beags – A Tribute to Fan Favorite Jay Beagle

530127D1-81E5-4AE3-8E96-0A37C405C1EF.jpegOn Tuesday night, the Capitals will look to bounce back from a poor Super Bowl Sunday showing against the Boston Bruins in a nighttime contest against the Vancouver Canucks. But Tuesday will also see longtime Capitals forward Jay Beagle play on Capital One Arena ice for the first time since departing the Capitals as a free agent last summer, when he signed a four-year contract with Vancouver following the Capitals’ Stanley Cup win. And while many a player has returned to much fanfare in D.C., Beagle’s return will bring an extra kick of emotion.

Signed by the Caps as an undrafted free agent on March 26, 2008, Beagle played in 211 regular season games with the Capitals American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears, recording 47 goals and 48 assists for 95 points, while establishing himself as a defensive-minded forward with a solid work ethic, starting in the 2007-08 season before permanently establishing himself as a full-time NHL player during the 2010-11 season, in which he appeared in 31 contests, scoring once and adding two assists for three points, with a minus-2 rating and winning 55.2% of the faceoffs he took; Beagle had appeared in a combined 10 games with the Capitals over the previous two seasons, recording one assist.

beagleFrom then on, Beagle entrenched himself as a fan favorite in Washington due to his tireless work ethic, his muck-and-grind style of play, and perhaps most of all, his willingness to interact and take the time to acknowledge fans, often taking time to sign autographs for each fan in line after practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. While Beagle, originally a right wing, was never a major offensive contributor, he found a niche as a reliable fourth-line center, excelling at the faceoff dot (he won 56.4% of the draws he took during his time in Washington) and becoming one of the team’s best penalty killers. Beagle’s work ethic was not lost on longtime Capitals fan Aurena Raines, who shared her appreciation for the fan favorite:

“I admire his work ethic, always giving 110%. I also loved his faceoff perfection, and for being a hunter on the puck. June 7, 2018 [the day the Capitals won the Stanley Cup] was a memorable evening! July 1, 2018 [the day Beagle signed with Vancouver] was a heartbreaking one” 

In 471 career games played with the Caps, Beagle recorded 116 points (51 goals, 65 assists), with a plus-11 rating, while winning 56.4% of the faceoffs he took, and 19 points in 85 playoff games played, with eight points last spring en route to the Caps winning the Stanley Cup. Beagle ranks 31st in franchise history in games played and while he may no longer be a member of the Capitals, he will forever be a fan favorite in the DMV. While Beagle’s work ethic on the ice was appreciated and essential to the team’s success, his off-ice presence and his ability as a person to connect and spend time with fans are what truly set him apart. He may not have been the flashiest, the most physical, or even the most recognized player on the ice, but he was by far one of, if not the, hardest working and an amazing person. Thank You Beags, welcome back!

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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6 Responses to Thank You, Beags – A Tribute to Fan Favorite Jay Beagle

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    I will never forget the Snoopy video clip they used to play when Beagle scored a goal. Originally, he was called up late in the 2008-09 season. At the time, he wasn’t great. But by 2011-12, he had earned himself a regular role.

    There was a three year stretch at Casino Nights where I would manage to get pictures of myself with both Beagle and Ovi. (I would talk to other players and sometimes even get pictures but for some reason, it was Ovi and Beagle who I could get pictures with, most regularly.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Vancouver at Washington Preview: Capitals Continue Homestand vs. Canucks | NoVa Caps

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Welcome back, Beags!

    Like

  4. Pingback: Capitals Honor Longtime Fan Favorite Jay Beagle With Heartfelt Tribute Video During Game Against Canucks | NoVa Caps

  5. Pingback: The Capitals Honor Longtime Fan Favorite Jay Beagle With Heartfelt Tribute Video During Game Against Canucks | NoVa Caps

  6. Michael L. Valcourt Sr. says:

    A wonderful teammate and a fan favorite this winger turned centerman was the Capitals face off specialist. He never failed to give it his all on the ice while playing for the Washington organization. His hard work and determination to succeed finally paying dividends for himself and his family by signing a four year deal with the Vancouver Canucks. Best of luck and health with your new team Jay.

    Like

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