Photo: Brendan Batchelor (@batchhockey)
When the Washington Capitals captured their first Stanley Cup championship in 2018, a big reason for their victory was the effort by every player on the roster, including their bottom-six forward group. At the time, their fourth-line center was Jay Beagle, who departed the team in free agency for a four-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks after full eight seasons (and parts of two others) with the Capitals. Today, Beagle returned to MedStar Capitals Iceplex (the Caps’ practice facility) for practice with the Canucks, and was greeted with a hero’s welcome by fans.
Fans greeted Beagle as he arrived at MedStar’s front doors, many holding handmade signs and welcoming him back to D.C. A fan favorite in Washington, Beagle, as was the case during his time as a Capital, took time to sign autographs, take pictures, and chat with fans, including several young fans.
— Tom Hunsicker (@TomSportsWUSA9) November 22, 2019
— JAY BEAGLE FOREVER💕 (@KuzyBeCackling) November 22, 2019
One young fan even delivered a box of Ovi-O’s to Beagle, along with a homemade sign:
— Gene Wu (@TheWuWu) November 22, 2019
In 471 games played with the Capitals, Beagle recorded 116 points (51 goal, 65 assists) while serving as a valuable fourth-line center and valuable penalty kill member, and whose hard work ethic and personable nature endeared him to the Washington faithful.
The Caps paid tribute to No. 83 upon his first return to Capital One Arena in February, where he received a standing ovation from the crowd during an emotional tribute.
Beagle did not take part in the Canucks’ optional practice, and Canucks Head Coach Travis Green did not have an update on the center, who has been receiving “treatment” for some time now, per TSN’s Jeff Paterson. However, Beagle spoke with the media, and said leaving Washington would have been “way different without winning the Stanley Cup”.
with media in Washington waiting for former Cap Jay Beagle who has been getting treatment for *a while* now. Seemed to labour through last night’s game in Nashville
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) November 22, 2019
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) November 22, 2019
While Beagle’s status for tomorrow’s afternoon Capitals-Canucks tilt is unknown, it is clear that no matter what uniform he is wearing, he will always hold a special place in the hearts of Caps fans and his contributions to the team’s run to the Cup won’t soon be forgotten.
By Michael Fleetwood