There are five players between the Capitals and Panthers who have worn jerseys for both teams. Tomas Vokoun and Dennis Wideman are now on the Washington side while Matt Bradley, Tomas Fleischmann and Jose Theodore are all a part of a revamped Florida roster.
For Bradley, Tuesday night marks his first trip to Verizon Center as a member of the visiting team since the 2003-04 season. It’s first trip to Washington since he made comments in July to an Ottawa radio station that Alexander Semin “just doesn’t care” and that the Capitals suffered from a lack of accountability.
He reiterated an apology for those remarks prior to the opening faceoff against his former team.
“Obviously, I’d like to apologize to him. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that after the game,” said Bradley, who added that he regretted the comments instantly. “One hundred percent, as soon as I said it. People who know me know that’s not my style. I’m not that kind of guy and as soon as I said it, I knew I shouldn’t have said it. For whatever reason I had a mental lapse and all I can do now is apologize and move forward because I can’t take what I said back.
“My only view on it is I had no business saying the things that I said,” Bradley continued. “I just want to leave it on that. It’s a great organization, a great team. Alex is a great player and I apologize for what I said. And like I said, I’d like to move forward.”
Bradley, who signed a two-year deal in Florida with a salary-cap hit of $950,000 each season, keeps in touch with some of his former teammates but said he is enjoying his time with the Panthers as one of 12 new players they brought to the roster during the offseason.
One of the other new faces in Florida is Fleischmann, who makes his return to Chinatown in a second different sweater since the Capitals traded him to Colorado late on Nov. 30, 2010. Fleischmann is currently on the Panthers’ top line with Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss — the trio has 16 points in four games.
Fleischmann said he is healthy after blood clots in both his lungs ended his 2010-11 season in January. The Panthers banked on his health when they signed Fleischmann to a four-year, $18 million deal in the summer.
“I think our team is built pretty good and we feel good about our game right now,” Fleischmann said of the Panthers. The Capitals “didn’t lose a game yet, so we just want to prove we can play with them. If we want to be best in the division we’ve got to beat them.”