(Note: This blog item concerns a sporting event that happened two weeks ago. I don’t remember much of the last two weeks: just a vague haze of family time, the Redskins losing, the Redskins firing people, bazonga Redskins Web traffic, and every college bowl game finishing with a result exactly opposite the one I predicted in all of my strictly recreational pools. I thus forgot to post this item. I apologize for the delay.)
On Dec. 23, Bruce Boudreau returned to Verizon Center with his high-flying Ducks. Many fans expected there would be a moment where Boudreau was shown on the big screen during the game, allowing fans to give him a deserved ovation for all he accomplished in D.C. Those fans were disappointed. (Full disclosure: several of the people cited here are longtime critics of Caps management, if that matters to you.)
@CapsGameEnt STH here. Real low Class not to show Boudreau so fans could express appreciation for what he did for DC hockey.
— DC SPORTSDUDE (@WshSportsDude) December 24, 2013
I know I’m not alone in this, but it is odd to me that Bruce Boudreau was not recognized in any way at Verizon Center.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) December 24, 2013
So we are thru two periods at Verizon and they haven’t even shown Boudreau on the video screen. Did I miss it, or is that kind of weird?
— Eric Fingerhut (@ericfingerhut) December 24, 2013
Hey @washcaps, Gabby’s the reason you have enough banners to take down the Mystics attendance championships. A nod would have been classy.
— Scandalous Gringo (@ChrisHowdy) December 24, 2013
@washcaps Disappointed you didn’t put Bruce on the board tonight. Failure to do so denies us an opportunity to thank him for his years here.
— Tyler Green (@TylerGreenDC) December 24, 2013
— David Browne (@ScooterBrowne) December 24, 2013
No recognition of Bruce Boudreau tonite at Verizon Center. NONE. Draw your own conclusions. He only helped revitalize hockey in DC.
— jonwarner (@jonwarnerWTOP) December 24, 2013
Should have. RT @Chris_Gordon Boudreau on returning: “They didn’t put me on the board! Oh well. 4.5 years — the greatest years of my life.”
— JapersRink (@JapersRink) December 24, 2013
There are a lot of banners hanging in Verizon, Boudreau was a apart of that. He deserved some recognition on big screen at Verizon, IMO.
— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) December 24, 2013
And so on and so forth. As noted above, Boudreau also noticed that he wasn’t recognized or pictured on the arena’s big screen.
Of course, he was mentioned on that screen, during the “Two-Man Advantage” video that plays in the arena during the pre-game (and on various Web sites).
“Returning to Verizon Center for the first time to coach against the Capitals, Bruce Boudreau, here from 2007-2011, and for the first time going against the Caps,” John Walton said in that video. “Should be a pretty warm homecoming I would imagine, at least in the pre-game tonight.”
“I’ve got to think so,” Mike Vogel agreed. “I mean, this man did a lot for Washington hockey. A lot of the pieces were here: Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Mike Green, Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin, they were here. All those guys were here. Bruce Boudreau’s the guy that got the screwdriver and the toolkit out and built it, put everything together. He really put hockey on the map here. The building wasn’t full, the people weren’t wearing red. All that happened after Bruce Boudreau got here, and I think the city of Washington owes him a great debt of gratitude for that.”
“Agree with that 100 percent,” Walton said.
Ted Leonsis also blogged about Boudreau the following day.
“I am very grateful to Bruce Boudreau and his family for their great contributions to our franchise,” he wrote. “Thank you Bruce.”
Still, multiple fans asked me to seek a comment from the Caps on why Boudreau was not recognized in a more formal manner, a way that would have allowed fans to stand and salute the guy who led Washington’s hockey renaissance. So I did.
“We typically recognize an opponent in-game if he has achieved a significant league milestone, such as we did with Patrick Roy and Nicklas Lidstrom,” a spokesman wrote. “We appreciate and respect what Bruce Boudreau was able to accomplish for our organization, and we acknowledged his contributions in our game preview video that is seen on Monumental Network and in the arena.”
I will now stop writing about something that happened in December.