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Oshie shares special bond with his father


Oshie shares special bond with his father

Like most of the Capitals who are rooming with their fathers during the team’s annual Dads’ trip, T.J. Oshie shares an unbreakable bond with his father, Tim.

The two have shared a journey of personal growth that has drawn them closer with each passing year.

“He’s meant the world to me,” Oshie said. “My family is very, very, very close. From my immediate family to cousins, everyone is in the same boat. We spend a lot of time together.

“It was a long trip for him to come from Seattle, so for him to come on this trip means the world to him and it definitely means the world to me, too.”

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About three years ago, at the age of 48, Tim Oshie was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a gradual but progressive form of dementia that normally begins with short-term memory loss. According to Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 5 percent of the 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s are diagnosed under the age of 65.

“He’s doing good,” Oshie said. “He’s in great spirits. A couple of the guys have already come up to me and said how much of a hoot he is.”

The first of Tim and Tina Oshie’s three children together, T.J.  grew up in Everett, Wash., where he spent much of the first 15 years of his life being coached by his father in football, baseball, basketball, hockey and golf.

“I just call him coach,” Oshie said. “I don’t call him dad.”

In 2002, two years after his parents separated, Oshie, who was 15 at the time, moved with his father to Tim Oshie’s hometown of Warroad, Minn., living with their cousin, Henry Boucha, a former NHL forward who played 247 games for the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota North Stars, Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies.

It was in Warroad that T.J. Oshie learned more about his family’s Native American heritage as members of Ojibwe Nation.

“We take a lot of pride in that and my dad will be the first to tell you that,” Oshie said. “We respect the native way. We respect the land. It’s just amazing how much pride my family takes from our heritage and from where we come from.”

Because he grew up in Washington, Oshie said he did not experience his first pow wow until he was 15.

“What was cool about my first one was that it started to rain and it rained hard,” Oshie recalled. “I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but for two hours straight they did a rain dance and a song, which I thought was pretty amazing. And eventually, it stopped raining and the food came out. It was a pretty cool first experience.”

After their meal, Oshie said the tribal leaders, including a medicine man, gathered in his “Uncle Henry’s” living room for a naming ceremony for his himself, his father, his younger brother, Taylor, and his younger sister, Tawni.

“We sat on the floor and smoked some tobacco out of a peace pipe,” Oshie said with a smile. “I was coughing. We sang a song for each of us, sat silent for a while, and then we were named.”

T.J. was given the name “Keeway Gaaboo,” which translates to “Coming Home.”

His father, Tim, was given a name that translates to “Falling From The Sky” and his brother, Taylor, was named “Falling From The Sky Like An Eagle.” Tawni, who has a learning disability, was given a name so spiritual that it does not translate to English.

“She’s kind of the life of the family,” Oshie said with a laugh.

Now a father himself, Oshie said he would like his 21-month-old daughter, Lyla Grace, to experience her own first pow wow.

“I do regret not learning more than I know, but I still am very proud of where I come from,” Oshie said. “At some point she will (be named). That’s something that will be very important to me and very important to my dad, especially.

“I want her to be old enough, but with my dad’s condition we might do it sooner rather than later.”

For now, Oshie said he is cherishing every moment he spends with his father, now 51, and is excited for him to get to know his new teammates’ fathers.

“You see some of the dads who were here together last year and it seems they already have a good relationship,” Oshie said. “You see them joking around. It’s good for my dad to come to meet the guys and for them to meet him. I’m so happy we get to do this. It’s great to have him here.”

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2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL


2018 NHL Draft: Caps add 7 prospects, 4 from WHL

The Caps made seven selections in the 2018 Draft this weekend. The group featured three defensemen, three forwards and a goalie. Interestingly, a couple of the picks have fathers who enjoyed lengthy NHL careers.

Meet the newest prospects:

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games last season.

4th round, 124th overall: G Mitchell Gibson, NAHL, 6'1", 187 pounds

A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.

6th round, 161st overall (from Vancouver): D Alex Kannok-Leipert, WHL, 5'11", 194 pounds

The Caps certainly saw something they liked in Kannok-Leipert as they traded up from 186 to get him. That pick, along with a sixth-round pick in 2019, went to Vancouver.

7th round, 217th overall: F Eric Florchuk, WHL, 6'2", 174 pounds

Florchuk was taken with the last pick of the draft.


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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson


GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”