As the team with the most points at the end of the 2015-16 season, the Capitals were a pretty big deal.
Here’s a general overview of the team.
Arena: Verizon Center
AHL Affiliate: Hershey Bears
Owner: Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Coach: Barry Tortz
Notable Former Players: Rod Langway, Mike Gartner, Dale Hunter
Current Captain: Alexander Ovechkin
Goalies: Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer
Notable Current Players: Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle
And some interesting facts.
In their inaugural season in 1974-75, they won only 8 games; the worst for any team playing more than 70 games.
The Capitals would continue to under-perform until the 1982 season, when they would make it to the playoffs for the first time.
The Capitals made it to the playoffs for fourteen seasons through the eighties and into the nineties.
The Capitals made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 and haven’t been since.
Starting in the 1995-96 season the Capitals switched from their red, white, and blue color scheme to a blue, black, and bronze that they wore until 2007-08 where they returned to the familiar red, white, and blue. The switch was made in an attempt to modernize their look, and it included a new logo featuring a bald eagle, and an alternate logo that featured the capital building and crossed hockey sticks.
In 2001, the Capitals signed Jaromir Jagr to the largest contract in NHL history at $77 million for seven years. This was part of the Capitals efforts to use high priced veterans to bolster their poor performance.
At the beginning of the 2003-04 season, the Caps traded away a lot of their high priced veterans to help reduce cost and admit that their attempt to buy wins had failed them.
Because no teams were willing to risk the $11 million a year for Jagr, who was under-performing, they were unable to unload his contract until 2004 where he went to the Rangers. In order for the Rangers to be willing to take him, they had to agree to pay $4 million per year or Jagr’s salary and Jagr himself agreed to defer $1 million.
While the Capitals have a few of the league’s top players on their current roster, they have yet to make the Stanley Cup Finals with their current superstars.