After the Caps ended their season with a 1-0 shootout loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, lucky fans lined up on the ice for the Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony, part of Fan Appreciation Day. Each fan opened an envelope that contained the number of a player, including the injured and healthy scratches. Then, the players skated over to greet the fans, giving them their jerseys and autographs while posing for photos.
As the last name was called — the mascot, Slapshot — Caps defenseman Tyson Strachan stood by himself. No one had Strachan’s number in their envelope. Strachan skated into the locker room, still wearing his jersey.
“For some reason, there was a little mistake and I was left hanging out on the ice by myself.” Strachan said, well aware that even Peter LeBlanc, who was playing his first career NHL game, wasn’t forgotten. “The fans support us all year, and it’s a pretty neat thing to be able to go out there and meet a fan and give your jersey back.”
Strachan played sparingly in Washington this season but was recently called up from Hershey because of injuries on the Caps’ blue line.
“Any time you’re playing in the NHL, you’re going to enjoy it. Overall, this was a decent year personally.”
Strachan also owns Strachan Strays, where he helps stray animals. He’s even gotten the Bears to do photo shoots to promote the business. “We always volunteered and done a lot of work with shelters in different areas, and we always rescued dogs ourselves, but hockey seemed like such a platform to be able to step on and raise awareness and get our name out there and make a difference in the world in raising money for stray animals. This year, between the support in Hershey and here in Washington, it’s been a great experience and we look forward to continuing to do it.”
As for missing out on Fan Appreciation Day? “I think they’ll probably fix the situation,” Strachan said. Perhaps a lucky fan will wind up with his jersey, after all.
Here is a video of the ceremony.