Each year the Washington Capitals Fan Club changes the location of its postseason appreciation dinner for the team. One part of the program remains constant, however, the citing of defensemen Yvon Labre as the team's most popular player.
Labre was so honored for the third straight time last night as players and fans celebrated a satisfying 24-42-14 campaign at the Bolling Air Force Base Officers' Club.
It was the second award of the week for the 27-year-old team captain. Sunday Labre was unanimously selected as the Capitals' best defenseman by a vote of the media.
The other defensemen were honored last night, hip-check specialist Gord Smith as the unsung hero and rookie Rick Green as the most promising player.
Green, who suffered a broken right wrist in a practice collision with Smith at Montreal Jan. 20, did not play thereafter. He was given a new cast Monday when the old one was removed and it was discovered the break had not completely mended.
There is no assurance of future stardom for those tabbed most promising by the fans. Last year's winner was Grey Joly.
Center Guy Charron, who files to Sweden today with Team Canada, was honored in absentia as player of the year. Charron, who led the Capitals in scoring with 82 points, is the first non-goalie to be selected, following Ron Low and Bernie Wolfe.