The Washington Post

Joel Ward recounts being trapped in a hotel bathroom


What started out as a normal game-day morning wound up becoming quite the adventure for Joel Ward.

ARLINGTON, VA - SEPTEMBER 11: Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals poses for his official headshot for the 2013-2014 season on September 11, 2013 at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joel Ward (Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Capitals winger went through his usual routine, got some coffee, read the paper and was in the midst of having breakfast with his teammates at the restaurant at the Omni hotel in Dallas. But when he excused himself to go to the bathroom, things took a turn for the worse.

Ward got trapped in the bathroom stall. A dilemma he and his teammates documented quite well on Twitter.

“I tried to come out and I flipped the switch a little bit but it wasn’t really coming undone,” said Ward, who after a morning of being teased mercilessly by his teammates took the whole experience in stride. “I’m in panic mode because I realized the door wasn’t going to open on me. I texted Karl [Alzner] to see if he was still around.”

Alzner and several other teammates came in to assess the situation, had a good laugh and a few waited for backup to arrive. But even when hotel staff showed up, they couldn’t get the door to open, either.

“Basically we had the whole Dallas SWAT team come in and still couldn’t open the door,” Ward said, exaggerating just a bit. “The latch on the inside where I was would turn but the bolt wouldn’t move, I think it was stripped. The bolt was just chilling.”

The space underneath the door was too small for Ward to slide through, so eventuallly a ladder was retrieved so he could climb over the door. All told it took about 44 minutes for Ward to escape the bathroom so he could make the bus ride over to American Airlines Center.

“They got a ladder and Karl and Carly [John Carlson] pretty much carried me like a log,” Ward said. “I sat there for 40 minutes, listening to toilet flushes all morning.”




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