Capitals will be bystanders for Stanley Cup banner raising

October 1, 2013

( Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The festivities will begin here Tuesday night around 6:45 p.m. CDT as the Blackhawks reminisce about their 2013 Stanley Cup championship and raise another banner to the rafters at United Center.

But as the celebration ensues, delaying puck drop to roughly 7:25 p.m., the Washington Capitals expect to be in their dressing room, rather than watching the defending champs relish in their glory one more time.

“In my mind, it’s a long ceremony so I think we’ll be in the locker room, chillin,” Coach Adam Oates said. “Not that it’s not a cool thing to watch — it can be a long ceremony, and a half hour sitting in your skates doesn’t make sense.”

Troy Brouwer won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, the season before he was traded to the Capitals. He still owns a home in Chicago and his family spends his summers there, but this offseason he couldn’t avoid the city enough.

“When they were in the finals I got out of the city,” Brouwer said early in training camp. “The worst thing that could happen to me this summer was having to play them opening night and see the banner.

“I’m happy for the city because I’m still a resident there,” Brouwer added. “But a lot of the guys I played with got traded away. It’s a completely different team. I knew [Blackhawks Owner] Rocky [Wirtz] really well and I’m happy for him and his franchise. But beyond that I’m happy to be here, I’m glad to be here and I want to help this team get a win on opening night.”

The Cup will be in the building tonight, offering a reminder of the ultimate goal the Capitals still seek. Perhaps it doesn’t mean much — after all, every team’s objective is to win the Stanley Cup — but the Capitals will have a front row seat as bystanders in today’s hoopla

“I’m sure it’s going to [tick] me off watching it,” Brooks Laich said. “I’m not going to sit there and clap for them. I’m sure it’s going to start some fires around here but we’re not going to pay much attention to that, we’re just going to focus on the game.”

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Neil Greenberg · October 1, 2013

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