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Dick Patrick to receive Lester Patrick award


Dick Patrick to receive Lester Patrick award

Its not every day a person is named the recipient of a national award named after his grandfather.

On Tuesday, Capitals Vice Chairman, Chief Operating Officer and President Dick Patrick was named one of two recipients of the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to the sport of hockey in the United States.

Dick Patrick, the grandson of Lester Patrick, will share the honor with Fort Komets broadcaster Bob Chase at the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction celebration in Dallas on Oct. 15.

"It means a lot to me, especially when you see the work my family has done over all these years," Patrick said. "This sport has grown a great deal in Washington and that takes a lot more people than myself."

The award, one of the most prestigious in hockey, was first presented to the National Hockey League by the New York Rangers in 1966. It honors the memory of Lester Patrick, who spent 50 years in hockey as a player, coach and general manager and was a pioneer in the sports development.

The son of former Rangers player and coach Muzz Patrick, Dick Patrick has carried on the unparalleled tradition of franchise building long established by Americas first hockey family.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he grew up in the United States, played college hockey at Dartmouth and earned his law degree from American University.

Since 1982-83, Dick Patrick has served as president of the Capitals, leading them to the postseason in 23 of the last 29 seasons, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.

Caps owner Ted Leonsis credits Patrick with bringing him into the world of ice hockey in 1999 and in signing Alex Ovechkin to a 13-year contract extension in 2008.

He pushed us all to make that aggressive move," Leonsis said at the time, as noted by a story on Dick is steady, mature, honest and has very high levels of personal integrity. He may seem low-key but the passions for our team and the game boil at high levels within.

Patrick also spearheaded construction of the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Caps state-of-the-art training facility in Arlington that also is home to local youth hockey programs.

As vice chairman and chief operating officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Patrick oversees all revenue generation for the Leonsis-founded company that owns the Capitals, the Wizards, the Mystics and Verizon Center. Patrick also supervises all upgrades and improvements to Verizon Center geared toward enhancing fan experience.

Patrick is also the cousin of former Capital Craig Patrick, who won two Stanley Cups as general manager of the Penguins and was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2001.

Tickets to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Dinner & Ceremony are available by visiting

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Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

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Evgeny Kuznetsov considered day-to-day, will miss Sunday's game in Philadelphia

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been declared day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury, the Caps announced Saturday afternoon.

He will not play Sunday against the Flyers, marking the first time in four seasons that the durable 25-year-old center will have missed a game.

Kuznetsov, the Caps’ assists leader and first line pivot over the past week, was injured in the second period of Friday’s 6-3 win over the Islanders. On the play, he slashed on the arm by New York defenseman Thomas Hickey before he tumbled awkwardly into the end boards.


Kuznetsov did not return to the contest.

The Caps did not practice on Saturday as they made their way to Philadelphia, where they'll look to extend their winning streak to five games.  

The team, per usual, did not elaborate about the extent or nature of Kuznetsov’s injury. But it does seem to be a good sign that he was not listed as week-to-week—the designation the Caps typically reserve for more severe injuries. And with a two point lead on Pittsburgh in the Metro Division standings—and a game in hand—they can actually afford to be cautious with one of their most important players.


The injury does, however, come at a time when Kuznetsov appeared to be hitting his stride. Including the two assists he had racked up prior to leaving Friday’s game, Kuzy has amassed five goals and 11 assists in 10 games.    

Without Kuznetsov on Sunday, Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle will be the team’s most experienced centers. Travis Boyd and/or Chandler Stephenson figure to be deployed as the fourth pivot.

Coach Barry Trotz is expected to meet with reporters prior to Sunday’s game. It’s possible he’ll shed some more light on Kuznetsov’s outlook at that time.

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Who ya got? Trotz faces tough choice in net after Holtby's strong return

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Who ya got? Trotz faces tough choice in net after Holtby's strong return

Braden Holtby has made Barry Trotz’s weekend very difficult, but in a good way.

Back-to-back games against the New York Islanders offered the Capitals an opportunity to play both Philipp Grubauer and Holtby. Grubauer stayed hot earning another win for Washington. On Friday, Holtby got his first start since March 6 and played very well.

“A win is good,” Holtby said after the game. “I felt pretty comfortable. Some things to build off of and things that I want to get better at. It was a step in the right direction.”


A 22 save effort on Friday was bookended by two big saves. The first shot Holtby faced was a turnover on the power play that led to a dangerous shorthanded scoring opportunity for John Tavares early in the first period. Then in the third, with the Capitals leading 5-3 and the Islanders trying to mount a comeback, Holtby turned aside a breakaway opportunity for star rookie Mathew Barzal.

“I thought he was pretty solid,” Trotz said. “He looked really confident.”

“I felt a lot better,” Holtby said. “Not that I was feeling horrible before, it's just you get refreshed. It's like anything, you have a week off work, a holiday or something, you come back a little refreshed.”

And that brings us to Sunday.

On Sunday, the Capitals play the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are a team in playoff position in desperate need of points after seven of their last eight games.

When asked on Wednesday who he thought would start Sunday’s game, Trotz said, “We're in a result business and we need some results so we'll see who is looking the sharpest and gives us the best chance to win.”

Both Grubauer and Holtby were impressive in their starts over the Islanders. You can’t argue Holtby is suddenly the hotter hand after one win considering how well Grubauer has played of late, but if Holtby remaisn the team’s No. 1, shouldn’t he get the next start after a strong winning performance?


Trotz was asked after the game who would start on Sunday after Holtby’s win.

“They're both playing well so I can't even answer that right now to be honest with you,” he said. “I do know that we have a number of games this week and whatever way go, obviously I'm going to sit down with the coaches and whatever way we go, I think they're both going to get some time this week.”

“I think you have to take it game-by-game,” Trotz added. “Bottom line is that you've got to make a decision and go with it and if your decision is that goalie A is a little hotter or you've just got a gut feel then you go with it and you have to live with it good or bad.”

So for now, it sounds as if we will see a rotation in net as Trotz continues evaluating which netminder gives the team the best chance to win in the playoffs. It is a tough position for the Caps’ bench boss, but, if both goalies continue to perform, having to choose between a hot Grubauer and a resurgent Holtby is a good problem to have and much preferable to having to choose between backup Grubauer and slumping Holtby.

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