Over New Years we took Jack to a Caps practice and he really enjoyed it. Ever since he has been begging to go back to watch practice and to try to get Ovechkin to sign his jersey. Travis has been super busy the past few weeks and hasn’t been able to spend as much time with boys as he would like, so last night he decided we would take the boys to the Caps practice this morning. The Caps usually post their practice schedule on-line, but today it didn’t say one way or the other if they were practicing. We decided to take our chances and head on over.
Travis drove separately from me and the kids, so he could work later on. I was trying to get out the door to be at practice by 10:30am when it should have started. Of course things never go as planned and we didn’t get on the road until after 10:30am. When we got there practice was starting to wind down a bit. This was actually good because Jack doesn’t have a ton of patience, so watching for 20 minutes or so was kind of ideal. He was super excited to see the players. We were pointing different players out to him and he was cheering when they were taking shooting practice. He got so excited when they made “GOALS” even though there wasn’t even a goalie in net most of the time. He was loving it. Garrett had just taken a little cat nap, so he was in good spirits too.
Slowly the players started to dwindle off to the locker room. After a while only Brashear and Schultz were still on the ice. I guess if you get suspended and scratched multiple games, your best bet is to put a little extra effort out on the ice at practice! Anyway…Jack was still really enjoying watching Brashear shoot at our end of the ice. I told him he could get down and stand at the glass. He loved that! Garrett saw Jack was at the glass and started wiggling to get down too. Trav stood G up at the glass too and Garrett went crazy! He started squealing and tapping the glass. Both boys were so excited. All of their excitement peaked Brashear’s attention and he started watching them. Then he skated past them and gave ’em a little glance. He must of thought they were pretty cute because he went across the ice and shot a puck into the glass right between the boys. Then he skated over and started to play with them. He ended up shooting pucks to the boards by them and then skating up to them a few times. They were so excited! Jack just kept saying “Donald Brashear is shooting pucks, Daddy!” and “Donald Brashear is playing with me and Brother!” I’ve always liked Brashear, but if ever I had a doubt about him, today proved he can be a pretty good guy. He didn’t have to engage our kids. He truly enjoyed them and made their day!
As if that wasn’t enough excitement for the day, we decided to stick around to see if we could catch any of the players. We wasted some time in the pro-shop and then just hung out around the door where the players exit. (I know, we were hockey groupies! I won’t tell you what we called the girls in high school that stalked the hockey players!) We waited a long time– I’m guessing an hour or so. We let the kids run around. Jack wanted to see Ovechkin’s car, so Travis took him over to it. Apparently he REALLY wanted his picture with Ovie’s car, so he posed a bit for the photo shoot! We caught glimpses of a few players going to grab food, but no one came out. When we were just about to give up and call it a day, some of the players started to come out. Theodore came out first with a pretty sheepish look on his face. I felt bad for him, no one really acknowledged him so I said Hi. He smiled half apologetically and said Hello. A few minutes later we could see Mike Green was coming so we told Jack to walk up to him when he came out and tell him that he had a faux hawk like him. Jack was all smiles and at first was a little embarrassed, but then he saw other people walking up to Green so he ran up to him. Jack said something like “look at my hair hawk”. He was so excited he couldn’t even get it out. But Green saw him and bent down, gave him a high five and said “Hey little buddy, look at you.” Jack was really excited then. Of course, we didn’t have the camera ready. Doh! We waited a few minutes and Semin and Laich came out– not together but one shortly after the other. Then the payday…Ovechkin came out. Jack and Travis went up to him (along with a mob of others) and as Ovechkin signed something for another person, Trav asked if he could sign Jack’s jersey he was wearing. Ovechkin said yes and bent down and signed Jack’s jersey. I don’t think Jack could have had a better morning. Ever since the season ticket holder party at the beginning of the year, Jack has been wanting Ovechkin to sign his jersey. All the way home he reminded me that “Ovechkin signed my jersey, Mom.”
So a morning at Caps practice paid off. We got to see some of the players, we got Ovechkin’s signature and best of all Brashear played with our kids. Wow! For a hockey loving family like us, it doesn’t get much better than that!