Washington Capitals Team History
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Washington Capitals (often shortened to Caps) are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Since their founding in 1974, the Capitals have won one conference championship (in 1998), and nine division titles. In 1997, the team moved their home ice hockey rink from the suburban Capital Centre (located in Landover, Maryland) to the new Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
1974 – Present National Hockey League
1974 – Present Washington Capitals
Capitals – Washington owner Abe Pollin decided on the perfectly apt nickname Capitals after staging a name-the-team contest.
Stanley Cup 0
1997 – Present Verizon Center
1974 – 1997 Capital Centre
1999 – Present Monumental Sports And Entertainment
1974 – 1999 Abe Pollin
5 Rod Langway
7 Yvon Labre
11 Mike Gartner
32 Dale Hunter
99 Wayne Gretzky
1995 – Present Slapshot
*Blue is this team’s history