Say No. 8 to a Capitals fan and every one of them will know exactly who you are talking about. Some players with their play can essentially claim a number within a franchise. There have been several players who have worn the numbers 5, 8, 12 and 19 for the Caps and yet, there is only one player that comes to mind for the fans for each of those numbers. Other numbers, however, are not as obvious.
With that, let's go through the history of the Capitals and determine which player is the best to ever wear that number for the team.
Today's list will go through the numbers 21 through 40.
Check out previous lists here:
21: Dennis Maruk
When Maruk was on top of his game, he was one of the best and luckily for Washington, he was at his best when he was with the Caps. From 1980 to 1982, a span of two seasons, Maruk scored 110 goals. In his five seasons with Washington, Maruk scored a total of 182 goals.
22: Dino Ciccarelli
Ciccarelli was an incredible player who scored over 600 goals and exactly 1,200 points in his NHL career. What he is best known for, however, is being one of the biggest agitators in the league. He was the kind of player that everyone hated...unless he was playing on your team.
23: Brian Bellows
Bellows played over 1,100 games in his career. Only 87 of them came with Washington, but he was a big factor in the team's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998 with six goals and seven assists in 21 playoff games. Not many would consider Bellows a star, but he was a key player everywhere he went. His best season was in 1989-90 with the Minnesota North Stars. On a team with Mike Modano and Mike Gartner, Bellows led the team with 99 points.
24: Bob Kelly
Kelly won two Stanley Cups with the Philadelphia Flyers as one of the Broad Street Bullies. He came to Washington and immediately put up career highs in goals (26), assists (36) and points (62).
25: Doug Jarvis
Only one Capitals player has ever won a Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the game and it was Jarvis who won it in 1983-84. He also won a Masterton Trophy in 1986-87 with the Hartford Whalers and four Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens.
26: Pierre Bouchard
Bouchard was a defensive-defenseman who played a key role in five Stanley Cup championships for the Canadiens. As good as he was in Montreal, his time in Washington was bizarre. The Canadiens put Bouchard on waivers where he was claimed by the Caps. Allegedly Washington and Montreal had an agreement that would see the Caps return Bouchard to the Canadiens, but the NHL would not allow the transaction. Bouchard considered retiring and ended up playing only one game for Washington in that first season in 1978-79. He ultimately decided to play the next three seasons but spent the majority of his last professional season in Hershey.
27: Dave Christian
Not only did Christian put together an NHL career of over 1,000 games, not only was he a strong playoff performer with 36 points in 49 playoff games for the Caps, not only did he produce over 80 points twice with Washington, but Christain was also a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team. That's right, he was part of the Miracle on Ice.
28: Alex Semin
This was a really tough one. Gord Lane helped the New York Islanders win four straight Stanley Cups. He was injured and missed most of the postseason in 1984 and, low and behold, the Edmonton Oilers ended New York's reign. Jeff Brown was a dominant offensive defenseman who recorded 584 points over the course of his career, but he played only nine games for Washington. Alex Semin scored 408 points in 469 games with the Caps and could have been one of the top offensive players in franchise history had he lived up to his potential. There's a case for all three players here, but I went with Semin just because he peaked while with Washington whereas both Lane and Brown are better known for what they did with other teams.
29: Joe Reekie
Reekie didn't put up much offense over the course of his NHL career, but that is because he was a quintessential defensive blueliner. He did that for nine seasons in Washington and over 900 games in the NHL.
30: Jim Carey
This one came down to two players whose careers ended sooner than most anticipated. Carey, of course, took the NHL by storm winning a Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie in his second season in the NHL. His career was over by the time he was 25. Paul Gardner was a forward who scored 402 points in 447 NHL games. While most players are entering their prime in their late 20s, that's when Gardner's offensive production plummeted. Since Carey had the greater impact on Washington, he gets the nod here for No. 30.
31: Philipp Grubauer
The answer is Roger Crozier who won a Calder Trophy in 1965 and a Conn Smythe in 1966 despite losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the Montreal Canadiens. He is the first player ever and one of five players to win the Conn Smythe despite his team not winning the Cup. But of the 515 games he played, only three of them came with Washington. If Patrick Roy played 3 games with the Caps, I would give it to him. Crozier was very good, but he was no Patrick Roy. Instead, I went with another goalie, Grubauer, who put up a sterling .923 save percentage and 2.29 GAA with Washington.
32: Dale Hunter
One of four players to have his number retired by the team, Hunter served as the team captain for the Caps for five seasons. He was at his best making life miserable for opponents, but he also scored 181 goals and 375 assists while with the Caps. He also scored the iconic Game 7 goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in 1988.
33: Don Beaupre
Beaupre put together a 128-96-27 record during his six-season stretch with the Capitals and still ranks third in franchise history in wins.
34: Al Iafrate
The mullet alone should be reason enough, but Iafrate was an all-star defenseman for the Caps known for having one of the hardest shots in the league.
35: Al Jensen
In six seasons with the Caps, Jensen put together a 94-48-18 record and he did it at a time in which the franchise was still looking to recover from its dreadful beginning. He helped bring Washington into the playoffs for the first time.
36: Mike Eagles
Never afraid to drop his gloves, Eagles was a feisty forward who spent six seasons in Washington with 35 points and a lot of penalty minutes to show for it.
37: Olaf Kolzig
Eight players have worn the No. 37 for Washington and five of those players wore it in the 1990-91 season. After that, Kolzig laid claim to the number as one of the top netminders in franchise history. He holds the franchise record for wins with 301 and also earned a Vezina in 2000 and a King Clancy Trophy in 2006 for humanitarian contribution.
38: Jan Bulis
Bulis spent the first three seasons of his career in Washington and the beginning of a fourth before getting traded to Montreal. He scored 96 total goals and 245 NHL points with 58 goals and 134 points coming from his time in Washington.
39: Alex Chiasson
Chiasson had only one season with the Caps, but it was for the Stanley Cup run. In the series-clinching Game 6 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chiasson scored Washington's lone regulation goal.
40: Steve Konowalchuk
Konowalchuk is better known as No. 22, which he wore from 1992 to 2003, but he wore No. 40 for one season. Semyon Varlamov is probably more deserving of claiming No. 40, but he already makes the list at No. 1. Since Ciccarelli has No. 22 on lock, this is a good chance to shoutout a player who was a fan favorite in Washington over his 13 seasons with the team. Konowalchuk played 790 NHL games and fewer than 100 were played for another team other than the Caps. He finished with 146 goals a196 assists for Washington.
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