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On his day with the Stanley Cup, T.J. Oshie spent an unforgettable few hours in Hockeytown USA

On his day with the Stanley Cup, T.J. Oshie spent an unforgettable few hours in Hockeytown USA

WARROAD, MN—T.J. Oshie could have kicked off his day with the Stanley Cup any number of places he played en route to the Capitals.

But he brought it first to the place where his journey to NHL stardom took flight: Warroad, a quaint, lakeside Minnesota town that lies just a few miles from the Canadian border.

Why? Oshie moved here at 15 years old and attended Warroad High, where, thanks to an abundance of ice time, top-notch coaching and a hockey-obsessed environment, he quickly progressed from a promising youth player to a professional prospect.

“It’s a home that I found that welcomed me,” Oshie said. “It’s been a long time that I’ve been saying if I ever won it, that I’d bring it back here.”

And so on Tuesday, Oshie followed through on that promise, bringing hockey’s biggest prize to Warroad, which has a population of only 1,800 but is known as the original Hockeytown USA due to its history of producing elite talent.

Former NHL and Olympic star Dave Christian grew up here. So did current Islanders standout Brock Nelson and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Gigi Marvin. It’s also produced dozens of Division I players as well as numerous high school state champions.

Oshie, however, is the first Warroad alum to hoist the Cup.

After arriving on a private jet and pulling into town in a convertible 1933 Lincoln, Oshie received a hero’s welcome at the Gardens Arena, where the town had arranged for a program in his honor.

The mayor, Bob Marvin, declared July 24th 'T.J. Oshie Day’ in Warroad.

“That was very unexpected and pretty amazing that I get my own day here in town,” Oshie said. “It’s really cool for my family.”

Oshie was also saluted by a Native American honor song, a nod to his ancestry and family’s roots in Warroad.

Following the welcome, Oshie took to the stage and addressed the estimated 2,500 on hand, thanking his family as well as his former coaches and teammates for the role they’ve played in his success. He also offered some advice to the young players in the crowd: work hard, respect your teammates and opponents and, most of all, have fun.

And then Oshie posed for a picture with every…single…team in town, from the mites to the Warroad High varsity squads.

He also made sure to get a photo with Gigi Marvin, a high school classmate.

The Cup’s visit meant just as much to the residents of Warroad.

“We’ve had a lot of success in Warroad, with gold medals and whatnot,” said Izzy Marvin, owner of Izzy’s Lounge and a huge supporter of the town’s hockey initiatives. “But to have the Cup come home is pretty special. We’re very thankful for T.J. He could have brought it to Grand Forks [where he played college hockey at the University of North Dakota]. He could have brought it to Everett, Washington [where he grew up]. But he brought it here.”

Marvin added: “It’s kind of the missing link to all of the success in the hockey world that Warroad has had, and all of the players we’ve had. The Stanley Cup was missing from that.”

Longtime youth and high school coach Son Shaugabay shared a similar sentiment.

“It completed the circle of hockey in Warroad,” he said. “With T.J. and the Caps winning it, that was my first emotion—Warroad has everything now. It’s truly Hockeytown USA.”

After posing for what seemed like a hundred pictures, Oshie went for the traditional “whip” around town in the classic Lincoln.

Along the route, Oshie made stops at a couple of his favorite bars. (Though, somewhat regrettably, he did NOT drink a beer through his shirt.)

The whip through Warroad ended in the same place the cruises did when Oshie was a teenager: at Lake of the Woods. There, Oshie and his family—wife Lauren and daughters Lyla and Leni—posed for one final picture on the pier before heading back to the airport.

Oshie’s day ended with a nightcap in Minneapolis, where he shared the Cup with Washington teammates Shane Gersich and Travis Boyd as well as some of his former teammates at North Dakota.

But the decision to start his day in Warroad was, in his words, a “no-brainer” because of the special place it occupies in his heart.

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

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Capitals re-sign Madison Bowey leaving Tom Wilson the lone remaining RFA

Defenseman Madison Bowey re-signed with the Capitals on Thursday, inking a two-year extension that will carry an average of $1 million.

Bowey carried a cap charge of $703,333 last season.

The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games for the Caps in 2017-18, amassing 12 assists, 24 penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of minus-3.

Bowey also suited up in nine contests for AHL Hershey, though he finished the season as one of the Black Aces during Washington's run to the Stanley Cup.

With Bowey back in the fold, the Caps now have six of seven defenseman from last season’s roster under contract. (Veteran Brooks Orpik remains an unrestricted free agent.)

Bowey had an uneven first year in the NHL—he didn’t play following the late-February addition of Michal Kempny—but the Caps expect that the 6-2, 198-pound right-shot blue liner will become reliable full-time player with more seasoning.

Bowey’s deal leaves Tom Wilson as the Caps' only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. The sides are in discussions on a multi-year extension.

Including Bowey’s extension, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million in salary cap space remaining, according to CapFriendly.

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Caps' winger Tom Wilson does not file for arbitration; prospect Liam O'Brien does

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Caps' winger Tom Wilson does not file for arbitration; prospect Liam O'Brien does

Tom Wilson did not file for salary arbitration ahead of Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

The Caps and Wilson, a restricted free agent, will continue to negotiate toward an extension.

The 24-year-old is coming off a breakout year in which he racked up highs in goals (14), assists (21) and penalty minutes (187). He also ranked fourth in penalties drawn per 60-minutes (1.78) among players who skated in 70 or more games.

Wilson also flourished while skating on Alex Ovechkin’s line and developed into a top penalty killer.

On Tuesday, GM Brian MacLellan said he was planning to speak to Wilson’s reps via phone later in the day. MacLellan also said that re-signing the rugged right winger remains the team’s No. 1 priority and that he’s hopeful of locking up Wilson long term.

“Tom's a big part of our team, a big part of what we got going and our playoff success,” MacLellan said after Todd Reirden’s introductory news conference in Arlington. “I'd prefer to keep him around for as long as we can.”

Wilson just played out the final year of a two-year deal that carried an annual average value of $2 million.

The Caps have more than $8.2 million in cap space available, according to www.capfriendly.com, with only Wilson and defenseman Madison Bowey left to re-sign. (Bowey is also an RFA but was not arbitration eligible.)

Meanwhile, prospect Liam O’Brien did request an arbitration hearing, according to the NHLPA. The 23-year-old winger was one of 44 players league-wide to file. He appeared in three games for Washington last season.

Hearings will be held July 20 - Aug. 4 in Toronto.

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