Washington Capitals

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Capitals Timeline


Washington Capitals Team Formation

Along with the Kansas City Scouts, the Capitals joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team for the 1974 - 1975 season. The team was owned by Abe Pollin also owner of the NBA's Washington Bullets/Wizards until his death on November 24, 2009. Pollin had built the Capital Centre in suburban Landover, Maryland, to house both the Bullets, who formerly played in Baltimore and the Capitals.

Worst Inaugural Season

The Capitals' inaugural season was dreadful, even by expansion standards. They finished with far and away the worst record in the league at 8–67–5. Their 21 points were half that of their expansion brethren, the Scouts. The eight wins are the fewest for an NHL team playing at least 70 games, and the .131 winning percentage is still the worst in NHL history. They also set records for most road losses (39 out of 40), most consecutive road losses (37), and most consecutive losses (17). Coach Jim Anderson said, "I'd rather find out my wife was cheating on me than keep losing like this. At least I could tell my wife to cut it out." Schmidt himself had to take over the coaching reins late in the season. Only once in NHL history has another team even come close to matching this futility: the 1980 - 1981 Winnipeg Jets finished with 9 wins and 57 losses, but a relatively impressive 14 ties.

Save The Caps

By the summer of 1982, there was serious talk of the team moving out of the U.S. capital, and a "Save the Caps" campaign was underway. Then two significant events took place to solve the problem. First, the team hired David Poile as General Manager. Second, as his first move, Poile pulled off one of the largest trades in franchise history on September 9, 1982, when he dealt longtime regulars Ryan Walter and Rick Green to the Montreal Canadiens for Rod Langway (named captain only a few weeks later), Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis, and Craig Laughlin. This move turned the franchise around, as Langway's solid defense helped the team to dramatically reduce its goals-against, and the explosive goal-scoring of Dennis Maruk, Mike Gartner, and Bobby Carpenter fueled the offensive attack.

Verizon Center Opens

The Verizon Center, formerly known as the MCI Center, is a sports and entertainment arena in Washington, D.C. The Verizon Center is owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and is situated on top of land leased from the District of Columbia. The Verizon Center was built in the mid-1990s solely with private financing and was originally owned by Abe Pollin from 1997 to June 2010. On June 10, 2010, following Pollin's death in November 2009, the Pollin family sold Verizon Center, along with the Washington Wizards and the Washington/Baltimore area Ticketmaster franchise to Ted Leonsis, who already owned the arena's other tenant, the Washington Capitals professional hockey team. Leonsis subsequently formed a new management company called Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The Verizon Center is largely considered to be a commercial success and is regarded as one of the driving catalysts of the revitalization (and gentrification) of Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown neighborhood.

Draft Alexander Ovechkin

In the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the Capitals won the Draft Lottery, moving ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins who had the NHL's worst record, and selected Alexander Ovechkin first overall. During the NHL labor dispute of 2004–05, which cost the NHL its entire season, Ovechkin stayed in Russia, playing for Moscow Dynamo.

On December 20, 2013, in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin scored his 400th career goal. He became the 6th fastest player to ever reach that mark, getting it in 634 games, 1 less than Pavel Bure.

Capitals Primary Logo History Capitals Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Washington D.C.

Capitals - Washington owner Abe Pollin decided on the perfectly apt nickname Capitals after staging a name-the-team contest.

Verizon Center
1997 - present
Capital Centre
1974 - 1997

Monumental Sports And Entertainment
1999 - present
Abe Pollin
1974 - 1999

Established: 1974

League History:
National Hockey League
1974 - present

Team History:
Washington Capitals
1974 - present

Stanley Cups: 0

Retired Numbers:
5 Rod Langway
7 Yvon Labre
11 Mike Gartner
32 Dale Hunter
99 Wayne Gretzky

Mascots: 1995 - present Unknown

The Official Site of the Washington Capitals

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