The Capitals will have a number of new faces taking the ice on Opening Night on October 12, as their 2022-23 regular season kicks off against the Boston Bruins. Among them will be goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who enters the campaign as the new number one between the pipes.
Kuemper, who signed a five-year free agent contract with the Caps after backstopping the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup win since 2001, will be absent from the raising of the Stanley Cup banner in Colorado, but remains focused on helping his current team to a victory.
“I’ll probably watch a highlight of it”, Kuemper said, “But, you know, it is what it is, I won’t be thinking of that tomorrow at all. Not till after the game for sure”, he added.
Despite having a shortened summer due to his Cup run in Colorado, the 32-year remains focused on the Capitals’ championship hopes going forward.
“I’m super excited for this year”, responded Kuemper when asked if a part of him wishes he was with his former club celebrating the victory, “You know last year was obviously a ton of fun, a dream come true. You know those are a lot of friends over there that’ll be friends for life, but I’m excited for this new chapter, new adventure, can’t wait to get it started tomorrow.”
The Capitals will open their season at Capital One Arena, before traveling to Toronto to face one of Kuemper’s predecessors in net, Ilya Samsonov and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The atmosphere of his Caps debut is something the former sixth-round pick of the Minnesota Wild is looking forward to.
“Super excited”, said Kuemper, smiling, “You know, being on the other side of it, it’s a real tough rink to come in and play, because the crowd’s always so loud. I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of that and having them cheer us on, so it’ll be a lot of fun.”
By Michael Fleetwood