Curiosity got the best of me while researching former Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov’s first few weeks in Colorado. So I checked up on all the full-time NHLers who suited up in Washington last season but now call another city home. Take a brief stroll down memory lane with me, won’t you?
(Stats through Thursday’s games.)
C Jason Arnott, St. Louis
The big, 36-year-old center is tied for the Blues’ points lead with five (two goals), despite ranking 16th in average ice time (13:50). Arnott, who departed via free agency, was lauded for his tell-it-like-it-is approach during his three-month stint in Washington. But, as I look back on his blunt comments now, I’m not so sure how that sat with everyone at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
RW Matt Bradley, Florida
After recording only a goal and an assist in his final 41 games as a Capital (including playoffs), he continues to search for his first point with the Panthers. He still bleeds with the best of them, though, as evidenced by Thursday’s fight with Buffalo’s Paul Gaustad. Bradley was a fan favorite, but some may never forgive him for his much-publicized parting jabs at Alexander Semin.
RW Eric Fehr, Winnipeg
The 2003 first-round draft pick has yet to suit up for his hometown Jets because of (another) offseason procedure on his problematic shoulders. He had 10 goals and 10 assists last season but was dealt in July for two reasons: the Caps needed to shed his $2.2 million salary and the organization’s patience had run out. But his place in franchise history is secure after he tallied twice in the Winter Classic to beat the rival Penguins.
LW/C Tomas Fleischmann, Florida
Almost a year after being dealt to Colorado for Scott Hannan and four months after signing a four-year, $18 million contract in Florida, Fleischmann is skating on the Panthers’ first line and has a goal and two assists. He has skill to spare and is a popular guy in the room, but health concerns will always linger for the 27-year-old Czech, who has overcome life-threatening blood clots in recent years.
C Boyd Gordon, Phoenix
Since signing a two-year, $2.65 million contract in the desert, Gordon has been a reliable grinder for the Coyotes. Washington’s 2002 first-round draft pick has two assists, a team-leading plus-minus rating of plus-5 and has won 61.5-percent of his draws. He also ranks second in short-handed ice time among forwards. Solid fourth liner, but the Caps were right to let him walk for that price.
D Scott Hannan, Calgary
Acquired for Fleischmann last November, then allowed to walk via free agency, the defensive-defenseman is off to a solid start with the Flames, who waited until mid-August to sign the 32-year-old. He has a goal and two assists (after amassing just five points in 55 games with the Caps) and is logging 20:18 of ice time. Unfortunately for him, his lasting legacy in Washington will be that awful line change in overtime of Game 2 vs. Tampa Bay.
C Dave Steckel, Toronto
After five years in the Washington organization, the Caps traded the 6-foot-5 faceoff ace in February to New Jersey, which flipped him to the Leafs in training camp. He notched his first goal of the season in Thursday’s 6-2 loss to Boston, where he skated on the Leafs’ top line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, saw ample opportunity on the power play and finished with 18:53 of ice time, more than he received at any point in Washington in 2010-11. His most memorable moment as a Capital figures to be his now-infamous run-in with Sidney Crosby in the Winter Classic.
D Tyler Sloan, NashvilleHe spent the entire season in Washington last season but appeared in only 33 games. He was bought out in June (and will count $233,000 against the Caps’ salary cap the next two seasons) because he requested a trade. Now he’s playing for Milwaukee of the AHL. Be careful what you wish for, Tyler.
LW Marco Sturm, Vancouver
Claimed off waivers from Los Angeles in February, Sturm had a goal and 7 points in 18 games with the Caps. The 33-year-old, now on a one-year, $2.25 million deal, has no points and a minus-5 rating in six games with the Canucks. Ouch.