Saturday, June 23, 2007

Draft Day: Complete

(Sorry for the poor quality but my camera hates me.)

Okay, two things that are funny about this moment:

1) Watch as the curtain falls...right on top of their heads. Brilliant.


2) Check out Clymer and Schultz with their blonde moment -

Joe B.:"About face, boys..."
Ben and Jeff: "Uh...about wha-?"
Joe B.:"...turn around?"
Ben and Jeff: "Oh! Okay..."

After the unveiling the players took a few minutes to answer questions...

Jeff Schultz

- on taking his playoff experience from Hershey and applying it to the Caps' postseason hopes:

"I think playing in those high pressure games helps. Each game is a learning experience and you had something different in each game. The different things I was taught and learned from each of those games can be brought into these Capitals games this year. I think just playing with different guys helped too.”

Chris Clark

- on new additions to the Caps:

“If things happen like that, we are bringing in new guys, you want them to be part of this team as quickly as possible, so that becomes part of the leadership job.”

- on his first season as captain:

“For myself I think it went well; it’s what I expected, more media talk and all that fun stuff. But I don’t want to shy away from any of that; I’ve embraced everything and love being a captain, especially of this team. The guys were great, we had a great team. It wasn’t really tough to get everybody on the same page, it wasn’t tough to bring guys along. Everybody wanted to be part of this team and stay together so my job that way was easy.”

“We have our core guys, 15-16 of the same guys we had last year so it makes the job even easier because we were all together and we’ve known each other and we know the system we know all the on-ice stuff it’s easier to build that way as well.”

- on the similarities between captaining a young Team USA and an equally young Caps team:

“It was very, very similar. I was one of the oldest guys on the team. I don’t feel that old and I think on other teams I wouldn’t be that old, but here and in the World Championships I was one of the older guys. But [everyone] was ready to skate, ready to listen to everything, and our coaches were great. Everyone worked really well together and we became a team very fast, and that showed on the ice, how well we played. I think we definitely had a contending team and it was just too bad to lose in a shootout like that like we did."

Ben Clymer

- on his rehab since having surgery at the end of last season:
“I met with the doctors today and they said everything looked good. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t really truly find out exactly what’s going on until you’re really playing at a really high level. That’s something I’ve tried to start to do in the summer but it’s still early and I don’t want to push it. There’s no need to push it right now, so I’m going to pick up my skating a little bit more in the next two weeks after talking w/ the doctors and trainers. It feels good but I’m still hoping it’ll feel even better.”

- on his draft day experience:

“I have a funny draft story, actually. I was picked by Boston 27th and there were 26 teams [the year] I was picked. So I was the first pick not to go to the podium. So they call my name and I don’t know where to go because I’m not going to the podium so I’m standing up, looking around, I don’t know what to do. Finally some lady flags me down and brings me to the table. In hindsight it had to be hilarious, I didn’t know what to do. Everyone was probably looking at me like, geez, I’m glad we’re not you. It was a fun day but that was certainly an uncomfortable, odd part of it just not knowing where you're supposed to go."

Let's not forget what this day was really about - the addition of the newest Capital, Karl Alzner. Although I know nothing about his actual skill and ability as a player, I like him already. He's very quotable and seems to be a laid-back, fun guy. For a team that values chemistry and personality so highly that is a very good sign. Plus, he likes the new jerseys (per

“I think they’re awesome. I’m a big fan of these. I didn’t know there was going to be a new uniform. I love them. It goes a little bit old school here. I saw a guy in the stands a little bit earlier, he was wearing a Dino Ciccarelli jersey. It was awesome. I was just saying I think those are sweet. To go back to those is a good choice. I really like it.”

I love this, by the way. When asked whether he sensed the Caps’ interest in him based on his pre-draft interview with them:
“I wasn’t sure. They caught me off guard at the end when they asked me to tell a joke and I didn’t think my joke was very good. I wasn’t sure, I thought maybe they were going to judge me on the joke. I thought it went well and I knew that there was a possibility. Whenever the teams come up that you are ranked around, your stomach starts to get a little bit antsy.”

And this:

“I love to talk. I don’t mind talking to anybody and everybody. I don’t think this makes me nervous. I have had to do it a couple times now. When I made World Juniors, those were the brightest lights I’ve ever seen in my life shining in my eyes. That kind of helped me get my feet into the waters there. I just love it. I like answering questions that people have. I have lots of questions too. I like to answer them.”

So personality-wise, I'd say he's a good fit. Whether he can play at the level at which the Caps will need him to play over the coming years is another question, but its a question that hangs over the head of every single one of the newly-drafted players. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Shelby said...

What a good day. I had a brilliant time. Skating was good, the uniforms are growing on me and I barely scraped by and got my jersey autographed by Johnson, Miller, Gordo, and Clark (and Johnson and Miller were unbelieveably nice). I love these fan events! I hope there are more to come.

Where was the sign you mentioned holding? I wanted to meet my favorite blogger if you were around. =]

CapsChick said...

It was fun, wasn't it? I don't skate and since technically I was "working" I couldn't get autographs, but it seemed like everyone had a good day.

Clarkie and Gordo weren't nice??

I wrote out "CAPS FANS" on a piece of paper but I think it got covered up by assorted plates and bottles...also we were there a little earlier than planned so I may have missed you. Another time, though, definitely!

Shelby said...

I wouldn't say not nice...Gordo is in his own little world (part of why we love him) and Clark was very sweet. It was just that Johnson and Miller were the nicest. They commented on my hockey playing, which tickled me, and were chatty despite being at the end of the night.

It was great, although I enjoyed the less-advertised Sculpture Garden skate better. It felt a bit more personal.