“This Is Kind of Where He Watched Me Fall in Love With Hockey, It’s Pretty Special”: TJ Oshie Reflects on His Late Father Tim and His Hockey Career Prior to His Warroad High School Jersey Retirement

NHL

Washington Capitals forward TJ Oshie is well-known for his professional career achievements, among them a Stanley Cup championship, member of an Olympic team (and his subsequent heroics), and productivity with the St. Louis Blues. In Warroad, Minnesota for the retirement of his high school jersey number 19, Oshie joined the Rink Live podcast and reflected on his overall hockey career.

Oshie moved to Warroad after his parents divorced, and from his sophomore high school season until his graduation, he was a member of Warroad High School’s hockey team. In 62 Games Played with the Warroad Warriors, he recorded 185 Points (81 Goals, 104 Assists), leading the team to two state titles.

“I don’t think this is why you start playing hockey as a kid, but just very excited to have my number sitting up there. Moving to Warroad, my dream was just to fit in with the varsity players on the high school team, to have my number going up there is super special…It was the coolest thing to come from a large town where hockey is the last thing on everyone’s mind, to come to Warroad where hockey is just a way of life, where everyone rallies around not just the hockey team, the youth in general. Playing in this rink here, this was kind of my NHL…”

Oshie was born in Everett, Washington, and moved to Warroad in part, to pursue a hockey career. The NHL added the Seattle Kraken prior to last season, the 32nd NHL club’s inaugural season. The Capitals’ first trip to Seattle came on November 21, 2021, a 5-2 loss, however Oshie was out of the lineup due to injury.

“I had a broken foot and I was trying to rush myself back to try and play in that game. I was probably going to have 60-70 people there from my childhood and so I was still in a walking boot, but I got the trainers to let me play the night before in San Jose, so I took my foot out of the walking boot into my skate…and then my back started going out, probably from walking in the boot and not really training to jumping into an NHL game, and sure enough I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning…I am excited they have an NHL team there because there really were a lot of people that loved the game of hockey, there just wasn’t a team to look up to, a flow of income from a pro team to start a youth organization.”

Oshie was acquired by the Caps in a trade on July 2, 2015 from the St. Louis Blues, and re-signed an eight-year contract after the 2016-17 season. More often than not in his seven seasons in Washington, Oshie has taken the ice alongside Alex Ovechkin, the NHL’s third-highest Goal-Scorer in history.

“Honestly we don’t [talking about the 2014 Olympic game in which Oshie carried Team USA over Ovechkin’s Russian in a shootout] sometimes other people feeling like stirring the pot a little bit. But Ovi, I don’t think he holds grudges like that…I think he’s been respectfully like, ‘Osh is the best, he got us’, although at the time I think it probably stuck a little bit more than that.”

“He’s like a brother to me. For as good as he is and what he’s accomplished, what he might accomplish, what we hope he’ll accomplish, he’s just a big kid. Kind of a joker, like not shy to sing Britney Spears in the back of the bus, and just kind of a big goof. He fires up the locker room, he’s a good leader, he really takes care of the guys and if the players need something he’ll be the first guy to speak up and go to whatever person he has to talk to to get a day off, get the guys together here, get the team to get us a meal here in this city. And on the ice, I’ve never seen someone who loves scoring goals as much as this guy, or just loves the team to score goals. There have been so many times when I’ve scored that he’s hugged me so hard that like I think I need the medical guys to take a look at [me]. He’s just one of a kind. Every time I see him at the rink, I just have the biggest smile on my face.”

The Capitals won their first Stanley Cup in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, aided in part by Oshie’s play during the run. The victory came after two seasons in which the Capitals had captured the President’s Trophy only to fall early in the playoffs to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

“No one was really talking about us. Barry Trotz had this big speech in Colorado, we came out for the first period and just weren’t that great. He just poured his heart out and kind of yelled at us, like not in different words I can’t say on here, but kinda like ‘you gotta get going’ kind of thing. And [then] everyone on the team was playing super, hard-nosed defense…and once we beat Pittsburgh…it was like there’s no chance we’re not winning. We got down to Tampa Bay, no one even cared, we were like ‘we’ll just win in seven’.”

During the 2020-21 season, Oshie lost his father Tim, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s since 2012. The bond between father and son (who had spent many an hour at the rink) was apparent when the two embraced following the Stanley Cup victory in 2018 and in his first game following the death of “Coach”, Oshie recorded a hat trick.

“Gosh if there’s a place for me to get teary-eyed, it’d be on the garden floor here. What I miss most about my dad is probably his jokes. I don’t know if I can repeat them honestly. My dad was the guy that would kind of command control of a room and everyone would crowd around him and he’d tell his stories. He’s the only guy I’ve ever seen who could literally make fun of people to their face and they’d laugh about it…that and having him at my games, and having him watch me. Those are things you’re thinking about after a big win, or in a game you have a lot of success, you call him and hear how excited he was, those are the things we miss, and then you just think about all the other things, he won’t be able to watch his grandkids skate for the first time, things like that. But that’s the stuff that’s really tough but it’s nice to be talking about ol’ Coach Osh here at the gardens, this is kind of where he watched me fall in love with hockey so it’s pretty special.”

See Oshie’s entire conversation below:

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 “This Is Kind of Where He Watched Me Fall in Love With Hockey, It’s Pretty Special”: TJ Oshie Reflects on His Late Father Tim and His Hockey Career Prior to His Warroad High School Jersey Retirement

  1. Well-deserved honor to TJ (and Coach)!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations TJ! First of many Jersey retirements I’m sure!

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Congratulations Osh, a great tribute to your father this weekend.

  4. Anonymous says:

    He wore #19….the plot thickens.

  5. Marky says:

    The video you have here is a really good and detailed interview. I liked it a lot!
    Congrats to my favorite Cap, TJ!

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