Friday night the Capitals’ Mike Vogel hosted an online chat session with several of the Capitals current players and Capitals alumni. The meeting, which ran just over 45 minutes in length, started with Vogel, Karl Alzner, who is currently in Montreal, and Joel Ward, who is currently in San Jose, California. The chat would see several other participants join in on the fun as the hour progressed.( The entire chat session can be found at the end of this post.)
Alzner stated that everyone in his household was doing fine, and that it was an interesting time. There was no longer any snow on the ground in Montreal, so he could take the kids outside. He expressed being happy that nothing too major was going on with his family, and noted his kids have accepted that quarantine is now the new reality, with not being able to go to school or see their friends. Alzner had also been teaching his kids how to ride a bike, a common activity these days within the Caps family.
The conversation segued into Alzner and Ward talking about whether the playoffs should be played similar to “March Madness”, featuring single elimination games. Ward knows the current situation sucks for the teams that were on the cusp of the playoffs.
Alzner mentioned that he had just purchased a Peloton stationary bike. He’s never cared for bike riding, but said now it’s more fun and he’s been competitive about reaching the top of the leader board.
The discussion turned to the current situation, where the players feel like they’re in dry dock, having no idea if it’s the off season, or whether they will restart the season my time soon. Alzner could imagine a situation with five teams ready to hit the ground running and other teams already in off-season mode.
Just over six minutes into the meeting, Eric Fehr joined the conversation, checking in from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Fehr’s screen background included his framed Caps’ jerseys from the Winter Classic games in which he had participated in. He noted he did indeed do some rearranging of the wall art, adding there was no way he was joining this chat with a Pittsburgh piece in the background.
Fehr described his adventures in trying to get himself and his family out of Switzerland before that country closed-off flights in and out of the country. The situation was not ideal. Flights were only available in business class in the final days, which was comparatively pricy when booking himself, his wife, and his three children there.
He also discussed his experiences playing in the Swiss league, noting that he was called for more penalties, and that the officiating was not the best.
At the 12 minute mark, Tom Wilson appeared. He was speaking from his Toronto home and wearing a white t-shirt, a light grey hoodie and a backwards baseball cap. Wilson reported that he did not have great internet service.
Less than a minute later, John Carlson jumped into the chat. When asked about what he was doing, Carlson said he was playing video games for the first time in 10 years. Wilson reported that things were quiet in Toronto. While there were a lot of cars on the streets, nothing was open there.
In the course of the conversation, Vogel revealed that he and his wife left DC and moved to Alexandria, Virginia, and had done the move in process between the end of the regular season in 2018 and the start of the playoffs.
The group also discussed hits against each other during the playoffs when Fehr was no longer a Capital. Fehr recalled a hit by Wilson, saying he was seriously “bundled” by Willy. Wilson said it was only a “50%” hit, because he thought a lot of Fehr.
They all agreed it’s hard to play against close friends, but it’s part of the game.
Jason Chimera joined in the conversation after the 22 minute mark. Chimera was calling in from Canmore, Alberta. He reported his wife, Sarah, now works and that he coaches his son, Cale, in pee wee hockey. Cale made an appearance during the chat.
During the conversation, there was plenty of good-natured chirping, on a variety of subjects, including choice of beverages, being drunk during the chat and asking John Carlson what he thought about Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots as Carlson is a Patriots’ fan.
Fehr also noted that Chimera ended a recent season for him with a big hit. Fehr, who said he was “bundled” by Chimera, didn’t seem too upset about it, as the two laughed about the incident.
There was also much discussion of past memories, including playoff memories, fights in which they had participated in, and discussions on who the most superstitious guys were.
The gang also discussed big playoff goals, including Wards’ Game 7 winning goal against Boston in the 2012 playoffs and Chimera’s overtime game winner against the Rangers in 2011.
The guys referred to each other by nicknames a lot, which brought back memories, with Chimer being referred to as Chimmer and Chim Dog, Ward being called both Wardo and Big Cheese, Fehr being called both Frank and Fehrsie, Carlson being called Jumbo, and Wilson being called both Willie and Whip. Overall, there was a lot of laughing in the chat.
Here is the complete chat. It’s “must see” if you haven’t watched it yet.