Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: kcarrera and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Poll: Should the Capitals Retire No. 37?


Olie Kolzig may have finished his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, but he'll be remembered as a member of the Washington Capitals.

He spent a decade as the cornerstone of the franchise that drafted him in 1989, enjoying the 1998 run to the Stanley Cup finals and winning the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie in 2000. He became a fixture in the community through work for his charity, Athletes Against Autism.

Kolzig's departure after being replaced at the end of the 2007-08 season by Cristobal Huet was awkward and unfit for a legend. As columnist Mike Wise put it in November of last year:

Endings are often cruel in sports, even for the iconic athletic figures. After Michael Jordan's messy departure, no town knows that better than Washington. But Jordan was just passing through. Olie was part of the landscape, much more than one of the greatest goaltenders of his era.

Now that Olie the Goalie has retired, we ask:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  September 23, 2009; 3:09 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Kolzig Announces Retirement
Next: Caps 6, Blackhawks 2

Comments

yes, but a Stanley Cup banner needs to be up there first.

Posted by: baldinga | September 23, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely retire the number. He was the face of the franchise, the unquestioned leader, and gave the team credibility. His final days with the Caps were not handled well by the team - the team owes him. I'd vote for Bondra too.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Let's retire Bondra's too so we can have 6 retired numbers with 0 Stanley Cups and 1 Conference Championship...

Posted by: capsfan83 | September 23, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Greatest goalie in the history of the franchise. To NOT retire his number would be a huge mistake

Posted by: MrDC3 | September 23, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I understand the argument against retiring Olie's number, but I'd still like to see his number in the rafters. Granted the titles didn't come like we all hoped, but I think his all around contributions to the team and community warrant some sort of consideration.

Posted by: superpaqman | September 23, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

When considering him as the greatest goalie in franchise history (accompanied with incredible longevity) we must also remember he single-handidly carried this team during the lean years - which consisted of most of his career here. He also carried the team to the Cup finals vs. Detroit. His jersey should definately be raised to the rafters...

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | September 23, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

No.
Please leave emotion out of the discussion, and what quantifiable milestones (when it matters) has he accomplished?

Love Olie, just don't think so many jerseys should be retired.

Posted by: matucker | September 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

No no no. To me, number retirements should be saved for legends, which Kolzig was not. Olie was a hell of a nice guy and had a respectable career, but with the exception of the 1998 playoff run, he was never really a shut down goalie.

When compared to his peers, his 303 wins and 2.71 GAA does not put him at the hall of fame level that you have with Broudeur, Roy, Hasek and even Chris Osgood. He was a two time all-star. I mean seriously, look at these names and tell me he belongs among them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NHL_retired_numbers

He was a good player and a great guy and I hope the team honors him in some way, but retire his number? Come on.

Posted by: hackeynut | September 23, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Greatest goalie in the history of the franchise."

That isn't exactly a huge honor.

Posted by: hackeynut | September 23, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes and as soon as it is appropriate. We remember Olie from his time on the ice down here when he skated for our "Coast" team under the legendary coach John Brophy. A great tallent then who only got better. He deserves nothing less.

Posted by: norfolkoms | September 23, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Matucker... classy guy, has some good year, gave good years to the Caps but he has very little significant achievements warranting fans remembering him 40 years from now.
Have a night on his honor with his family surrounding him. Give him a gift and let the fans give him a nice standing ovation. I think that more than that would just tell other hockey towns how slim picking our franchise has been in terms of players with a long lasting significant impact.

Posted by: atybat | September 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Leave emotion out of the discussion? It's all about emotion - the fans and the franchise get to show gratitude for the player's many years of dedication and great play. The fans get to remember many great times in the past. It would be nice if the Caps franchise had a history like the Canadiens, but that shouldn't prevent us from celebrating the guys who brought so much to so many of us.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Peter this year, Olie next year. Who has been more identified with the name "Washington Capitals" in the last 20 years that Olie? No one till Ovie showed up.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 23, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Would you guys really say he is a player on par with Rod Langway or Dale Hunter?

Posted by: hackeynut | September 23, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

The Capitals' judgment in retiring numbers will always be suspect every time I look toward the rafters and see Yvon Labre's name and number up there. Dale Hunter's is iffy at best. Only Langway was the best at what he did in the NHL for any period of time.

No, do not retire the number. Olie was a solid, occasionally very good, NHL goalie for a long time. No Cups, not going to the HOF, therefore no 37 in the rafters.

Posted by: ElGordo9 | September 23, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Would you guys really say he is a player on par with Rod Langway or Dale Hunter?"

Kolzig brought as many Stanley Cups to Washington as Langway and Hunter did, so I'd say yes.

Posted by: spacecadetkid | September 23, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Did you guys watch the teams that played in front of olie??? He had little to no help for a long time. Only Marty, Roy, and Hasek were better than him during the time he played. I would take Olie ahead of Cujo and any other goalies of the time.

Posted by: caps512 | September 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Explain to me what it hurts by retiring his number. We aren't a franchise with multiple cups (at least right now) to boast about. But that is one thing that we can boast about. Olie. there are only a handful of guys who stuck it out with Washington during those aforementioned lean times. Why not show him that gratitude? Again I say what does it hurt? If Ovie never achieved any other records or trophies including a cup but stayed with washington for his entire career, would you decide not to retire his number? He has brought life to Washington hockey like no other, even if he never gets us a cup.

Posted by: mikesfan | September 23, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I say "NO" to the retiring. Like I said before you need to be in the hall of fame as a qualifier first. Unless your are retiring jersey's based on community services. I also believed he burned some bridges when he was huffing and puffing about being benched when we brought in a better goalie ( Huet). Although it was after the season was over.

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | September 23, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

its not olie, or bondra's fault we never won any cups. they gave their heart and soul for the Caps, and just because they never won a cup isn't reason not to honor them. we already did them both a terrible injustice, let's right them both and let them know their many years of service, dedication and sacrifice was not in vain.

it's what is right

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 23, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe this is even a question. We should absolutely retire his jersey...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | September 23, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

527 votes and 10% said no?? who are the 52.7 nay-sayers?? i guess sc1907 is back!

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I attended the game where Mike Gartner's number was retired last season. Being as it took 20 years after his last season as a Capital for his number to go up there (the Caps had some terrific regular season teams in his last few seasons but never progressed much in the playoffs), I'd say conditionally yes for Olie, but only after a substantial number of years have passed.

I'm curious if the Caps organization has a specific list of criteria (obviously, Stanley Cups won couldn't be part of it) for number retirement, or if it's more just a matter of when they "feel" it's the right thing to do.

Posted by: blackjack65 | September 23, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

retiring a players number has nothing to do with possibly being elected to the NHL HOF. it has to do with what the player meant to his team and fans. IMO that qualifies retiring #37 for the caps as an organization

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Olaf Kolzig should have to come back and make some appearances to heal the bad feelings from the manner in which he left. Be around a bit more. Shake a few hands, sign a few autographs, and maybe do so interviews. Of course it should be retired, but it isn't like the world will end if it isn't retired this season.

Posted by: lornemyoung | September 23, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

No. Good guy, good goalie, retiring numbers is, (or should be) only for legends. Kolzig was not a legend. To retire a guys number b/c he was popular and played here for a long time with modest success just cheapens it. This franchise should set the bar very high -- don't turn this into the Mystics, Attendance Champions Banner and all that nonsense. Hope Leonsis keeps the standard high.

Posted by: dbunkr | September 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Well then lets just put all the numbers up there we can! Calle Johannsson, your in! Kevin Hatcher, welcome home! Scott Stevens, eh what the heck, even if you're remembers as a Devil more. Mike Ridley? Of course!

Posted by: hackeynut | September 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

olie doesnt owe us anything, he already gave everything he could. im not saying we shouldn't have gone with huet, im not even saying olie deserved a #1 spot over huet, but he did deserve management to be honest with him and show him respect and say "hey we're going a different direction and we're moving on without you" he deserved some respect and when you're backed into a corner you sometimes bite back and i don't blame olie for his departure. plus he still continues to give to the community, even when he was on TB. don't sit there and say he stopped working for the DC community the moment he left.

olie doesn't owe us anything. period! We owe Olie

Posted by: capsfan387 | September 23, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

hell yeah you have to retire his number....aside from langway he has meant more to this franchise than any other player (yes both will be passed by Ovie)

Posted by: _stevo | September 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

This will probably prove to be an unpopular post but stop the retirement of numbers unless you are elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame. You already have guys skating wearing #74 or 58 for example. Pretty soon the Caps will have their first three digit number if this keeps up. For Langway and Gartner, leave the retired #'s alone. For a guy like Olie, Hunter or Bondra just stick their mug on the banner along with their name and the years they were a Capital.

Seriously. Yvon Labre?

Posted by: bbride1 | September 23, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

No question...

Posted by: R617 | September 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Heck ya! & Bondra's too. Please do not forget all both did for this community off the ice and on it!

Posted by: Iceman10 | September 23, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm very stingy when it comes to uniform numbers. No Hall of Fame, no retired jersey. Put him in the Capitals of Hall of Fame, or ring of fame, if such a thing exists, but no, I wouldn't retire his number. Then again, I wouldn't have retired the first four either.

Posted by: Tank2 | September 23, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You retire the number of the player who was the best at his position in team history...Period. So I ask, who was better between the pipes for the Caps then Olie?

Posted by: SeattleRob | September 23, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with tank. Something like a ring of honor.

Posted by: Steve_R | September 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

absolutely retire it. Meant so much to franchise and community. Played well even when had really crappy teams in front of him.

Posted by: arcassells | September 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

You either make the hall of fame, or lead the team to the cup during your time hear to get retired.

That being said...If Kolzig gets retired, then so should Bondra because they were both the best we've ever had.

I'm guess Ted L will follow the rule of Hall of Fame, or Cup win to get in the rafters

Posted by: SA-Town | September 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As a side note: does anybody know what Brandon Sugden's number is going to be tonight?

Posted by: irockthered | September 23, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Anybody notice at the Monday's game that the retired numbers and pennants were removed from the rafters? I guess not since no one mentioned it. Wondered if they were taken down to be dry cleaned?

Posted by: puckman | September 23, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine the kind of people who would dismiss another person's accomplishments in favor of some theoretical bar of success. Unless it's written, I think someone who shows as much loyalty as Kolzig showed to the Capitals, should be honored. No offense, but I don't see how retiring his number is going to hurt any of you a$$hats dismissing this for a player who fans respect and want to honor in that manner. Get off your pedestals, people.

Retire Olaf Kolzig's number.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 23, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Retire Brandon Sugden's number (once we figure out what it is)!

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

i respectfully disagree. Kolzig is a legend as far as captitals goalies go. #37 should not be worn by any other capital ever.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

you set the bar pretty low when you retire dale hunter's sweater. So yeah, i would say you have to retire his jersey

Posted by: bird3000us | September 23, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Not only should it be retired, but bring him back to put on the jersey for one game, and let him retire here. Very classy move (are you listening Ted?). Put the nonsense to bed and retire the past face of the franchise.

Posted by: bubblegirl1 | September 23, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Let's retire Bondra's too so we can have 6 retired numbers with 0 Stanley Cups and 1 Conference Championship...

------------------------------------------

This was so funny it was worth repeating. :)

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 23, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to have had Olie playing behind the defense the team had in the 80s -- Langway, Murphy, Stevens, Hatcher, and company. With that blue line and a much better than competent goaltender, I bet the Caps would have won at least one Cup. How often were they one big save away from advancing? What if the Caps ever had the hot goaltender then? Olie was good enough to have made the difference. Retire the number.

Posted by: gustafson16 | September 23, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

For all those retire Olie's jersey supporters answer this question: Outside of the 1998 run to the Stanley Cup Finals in how many playoff series was Olie Kolzig the starting netminder in playoff series victory? Hint: It is one fewer than the total of Semyon Varlamov.

So one Vezina and one year of winning a playoff series and his number should be retired?

Wow, expectations of excellence among Caps fans is amazing.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I am curious, did Ollie at least call the Caps before the announcement and give them a chance to retire as a Cap? By the same token, did the caps ever reach out to Ollie and say, when you are ready, we will be happy to sign you for a day so you can retire as a Cap. Not sure which side did or did not. Both should have.
For me, like the HOF, a player number should wait 5 years before deciding. At this point in time, until this anger is healed the number will not be retired, but by the same token, no one else will wear it.

Posted by: RichC3 | September 23, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

How can some people be comparing Olie to Rod Langway. Do people remember the save the Caps campaigns of the early 1980s? There is no Olie Kolzig in Washington if not for Rod Langway and those Caps teams that prevented the franchise from moving.

As for the notion that Olie is the face of the franchise. No he wasn't. He was the face of the franchise for people who were already fans. Not one person who wasn't already a Caps fan could pick Olie out of a line-up. Olie didn't put one butt in a seat. If you doubt any of that see what Ovie (a real face of a franchise) has done for this organization in 4 years.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised at the nonchalance some of you are showing towards Olie. He wasn't just a good player for us for a long time. He was a great player who I think is the victim of people only remembering his last couple of seasons here. For 7 seasons prior to the lockout he was stellar and a rock. He carried us to the Stanley Cup finals and was at his best in the playoffs as witnessed by his career .927 playoff save percentage. This doesn't take into account his leadership and his contributions to the community. If I'm Ted I'm sending out for the banner right now.

Posted by: ouvan59 | September 23, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Leave emotion out of the discussion? It's all about emotion - the fans and the franchise get to show gratitude for the player's many years of dedication and great play. The fans get to remember many great times in the past. It would be nice if the Caps franchise had a history like the Canadiens, but that shouldn't prevent us from celebrating the guys who brought so much to so many of us.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Lets say the Caps retire Kolzig and Bondra, that would give the team a list of Labre, Langway, Hunter, Gartner, Kolzig and Bondra. Lets pick Detroit and compare there list of retired numbers: Sid Abel, Larry Aurie, Alex Delvecchio, Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk and Steve Yzerman. The Caps will have retired 6 players since 1981 who have won zero Stanley Cups, 2 Norris Trophys and 1 Vezina Trophy. Those 7 Red Wings (retired starting in 1938) have a combined 23 Cups, 7 Harts, 7 Ross, 2 Pearson, 4 Vezina, 1 Selke and 5 of the players are in the list of top 100 of all-time (3 in the top 10). I'm just saying.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Did you guys watch the teams that played in front of olie??? He had little to no help for a long time. Only Marty, Roy, and Hasek were better than him during the time he played. I would take Olie ahead of Cujo and any other goalies of the time.

Posted by: caps512 | September 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Fourth best goalie of his era and he only had one season where he won a playoff series!?!?! I'd also suggest you go back and look at some of those defensive rosters in the pre-lockout era that Kolzig played behind. They were far from poor.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@freakin - So by your logic, only the dynasty franchises (e.g.Red Wings, Canadiens, Yankees, Celtics)can retire players numbers. I don't see it that way. It becomes self-perpetuating to some extent, with players accomplishments on the dynasty teams becoming inflated by playing with other great players.
BTW, Tarik was just on Comcast. He said that team sources tell him that the number retirement will depend on smoothing over issues from when Olie left the team

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

i find it amazing that for some the only criteria for being honored by an organization is a cup or the HOF. each team can decide what players they choose to honor. what this amounts to is choosing a capitals HOF. i believe that kolzig fills the requirement for that honor

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I would retire Kolzig's number because it makes a unique statement about what kind of contribution we value.

Olie won't be a Hall of Famer, and he didn't win any Stanley Cups, but his leadership on and off the ice was unmatched in his time here, and more importantly, he established a strong dedication to charity work among Caps players. No one says why you have to retire a number, just that you do it to honor someone unforgettable. For his contributions here, we should make sure that Olie is not forgotten.

Posted by: nicko | September 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised at the nonchalance some of you are showing towards Olie. He wasn't just a good player for us for a long time. He was a great player who I think is the victim of people only remembering his last couple of seasons here. For 7 seasons prior to the lockout he was stellar and a rock. He carried us to the Stanley Cup finals and was at his best in the playoffs as witnessed by his career .927 playoff save percentage. This doesn't take into account his leadership and his contributions to the community. If I'm Ted I'm sending out for the banner right now.

Posted by: ouvan59 | September 23, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

HE ONLY HAD ONE SEASON IN WHICH HE WON A PLAYOFF ROUND! Are we really going to put his name in the rafters because of an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998? If not for 1998 would all the people calling for his name to be in the rafters still be doing that? Is he our Archie Manning?

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"For all those retire Olie's jersey supporters answer this question: Outside of the 1998 run to the Stanley Cup Finals in how many playoff series was Olie Kolzig the starting netminder in playoff series victory? Hint: It is one fewer than the total of Semyon Varlamov."

And do you not remember those series? The only year he didn't play well was 2000 and even that was skewed by one truly bad game where he was pulled after giving up 6 goals in 2 periods. The rest of the series he had a 2.25 GAA and a save % of over .900. Our problems in those years weren't Kolzig. We had guys like Sergei Gonchar who played tight as a drum.

Posted by: ouvan59 | September 23, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin:
you really seem to be stuck on the fact that the only way to be honored by a team is winning a cup or being elected to the HOF. i'm not trying to change your mind - but that is not the criteria i would use when deciding what player(s) should be honored

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

So freakinandpeaking are you saying we should have no players with retired numbers? Kolzig's performance in the playoffs was better than Rod Langway's.

Posted by: ouvan59 | September 23, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

is tonights game being broadcast anywhere?

Posted by: blaketus | September 23, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@zmega, where did I say that? I pulled one team and showed the type of players that that organization has retired over the past 71 years. We have one player who fits into that category (individual and team achievement, his team achievement was saving the franchise from moving and getting the team to the playoffs for the first time in team history) and that is Rod Langway. BTW, I don't see his name on the Stanley Cup.

Most players who have had their jersey numbers retired have won significant individual awards and/or Stanley Cups. There are some that have done neither. I doubt any team can find the lack of team or individual success in their retired numbers that the Caps have with their selected few.

It just seems the Caps are manufacturing a history and legacy instead of just letting it happen.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

caps need a ring of fame or whatever they want to call it to honer players like Olie.

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | September 23, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

When compared to his peers, his 303 wins and 2.71 GAA does not put him at the hall of fame level that you have with Broudeur, Roy, Hasek and even Chris Osgood. He was a two time all-star. I mean seriously, look at these names and tell me he belongs among them:

I can say without a doubt that Ollie deserves to be on that list as much as the "Wilds' Fans", Ken Dryden and Bernie Parent, even the respected (in New York) Billie Smith. Ollie was, and remains, a class act, role model and incomparable representative of hockey and Washington, D.C. and its' surrounding areas. He was the best representaive of the Capitsl throughout the long Cup drought, which wasn't his fault, just as it wasn't Langway's, Hunter's, or Labre's. This isn't the hall of Fame we are talking about. And the same goes for Bondra.

Posted by: CapCenter105 | September 23, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Tell me once where I mentioned the HOF. Never did. I said a player needs some combination of personal and team success that extends beyond one season. Kolzig's numbers are average when compared to his NHL contemporaries. Like it or not, playoff success is how players are measured when it comes to a career.

As for the person who asked if anyone should have his jersey retired. I think Langway is the only definite. Hunter is one of my all-time favorites so his number up there doesn't bother me, but I will fully acknowledge that his being up there is marginal at best. Gartner achieved just as much away from the Caps as he did with the organization and Labre is what Labre is.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@freakin - You would admit that winning the Stanley Cup is a team achievement, wouldn't you? Can you think of any player who won one with only bums playing around him? Olie did pretty well with the individual awards, a Vezina and 2 all-star games. Not bad, considering the talent around him.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

CapCenter105...did you just mention Olie (not Ollie) and his 1 Vezina Trophy in the same sentence as Billy Smith (4 Cups), Bernie Parent (2 Cups, 2 Vezina and 2 Conn Smythe) and Ken Dryden (6 Cups, a Calder and a Conn Smythe)?

The only things that can explain that are that you are a blind homer, or don't know NHL history.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

freakinandpeakin:
Tell me once where I mentioned the HOF

you are right - you never mentioned it. that is what i thought of when you listed players from the red wings (5 of those 7 are in the hall)

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 23, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@zmega, All-Star game appearances don't mean much to me since one player from every team must be in the games. How many post-season 1st or 2nd teams did he make?


As for the notion of bums playing around him. I guess Bondra fits that category? Take a look at those roaters before the lockout, they weren't filled with bums until the blow-up right before the lock-out.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes retire his number. He was the face of the franchise for so many years. There are plenty of players that have had their numbers retired that are not in the hall and never will be Ken Daneyko in NJ, Larry Aurie in Detroit (though they don't have the number in the rafters), Neal Broten for the Stars, and Danny Gare with Buffalo. Are any of those teams embarassing their teams by having these people there? Broten is also like Olie in the fact that he never won a Cup with the team that retired his number either and Danny Gare never won a cup do people think less of the Sabers? They have six numbers retired with only two finals appearences. Hockey is a team sport. Cups do not always tell who is the best player. Mark Messier won more Cups then Gretzky but if you could only retire one number in Edmonton who would it be? At least the caps aren't being like Minnesota or Vancouver who have both retired a number for the fans.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Another example I forgot Thomas Steen with the Jets. Never close to the hall and never got past the second round in the playoffs but is there because of what he ment to the team and what he did off the ice.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Give him a Golden Hockey Stick with a nice letter saying thank you..... and a box of chocolates ,retiring a jersey is over board!!

Posted by: Capsfannmiss | September 23, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

retire it.

Posted by: Sonyask | September 23, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@freakin - I did not intend to suggest that Olie's teammates were bums. They were better than that, but clearly not SC champ material IMO. One way to look at it - which goalie would you substitute for Olie on his Caps teams and expect to win a SC? I don't think Dryden or Hasek in their primes would be enough. I think the SC issue is a red herring - too many extraneous factors to judge the individual player.

Posted by: zmega | September 23, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why this is even up for a debate... he's the best goalie the Caps have ever had and retiring numbers has NOTHING to do with the hall of fame credentials of the players.

the first number the Caps ever retired was that of Yvon Labre (#7) and not even his strongest supporters would argue that he would be HOF worthy. it's what the player has meant to the team that's important and should be considered when deciding such a matter, NOT whether or not the player is HOF worthy.

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Caps historians--who are the six who have had their numbers retired? Just curious.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 23, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Is the game available tonight. Is this streaming anywhere.

Posted by: samb99 | September 23, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Yvon Labre (#7), Rod Langway (#5), Dale Hunber (#32), Mike Gartner (11) are the only ones I can think of

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

samb99 http://atdhe.net/ looks like it will have two feeds. Neither are up yet but there is still time.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

While I totally get the demand for a few cups or HHOF stats as the standard for the rafters, let's be a bit realistic. As much as we love this team, this isn't the Red Wings or Habs we're talking about here. Moveover, in a era where players bounce around as much as they do now, longevity in one place means something.

Olie did a lot for this team on the ice both in terms of carrying the team to the finals before hitting the buzz saw of the Wings. And, he stuck it out here when the team was god awful. As bas as they were in 2003-4, they could have been worse.

Plus, all the off-ice stuff which is well known.

I get the opposition, I just think the strict numbers thing is an impossible standard these days.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | September 23, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed both say that they are playing the Sabers so don't know what is doing on.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The first link on http://atdhe.net/ for the Caps looks like it is working.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 23, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The precedent has already been set. The Hall of Fame argument is moot because we have already put guys up there that aren't in. How can you say Yvon Labre deserves to be up there more than Olie? One of the greatest Capitals ever...he deserves to be recognized as such.

Posted by: ryanbillie | September 23, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm streaming through washingtoncaps.com and it's working great.

Posted by: wocoliz | September 23, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Knuble will score 38 goals this year!! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | September 23, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Knuble = awesome sign. Way to go GMGM

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 23, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know of a place to find a dc proxy server? I'm on the west coast and I'm very sad :-(

Posted by: Raber | September 23, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Knuble is gonna be GOOD for us this year! Can't wait!!

Posted by: rachel216 | September 23, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Rest assured, everyone, freakin isn't in charge of whose number gets retired. Otherwise, our rafters would be empty at this point. Breathe a sigh of relief and ignore his hysterics.

Could someone do the search and see if there are any specific rules that the Capitals organization uses to retire numbers? I can't imagine "having an SC cup" is the only criteria, if at all.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 23, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Rachel, I agree. I am so excited about Knuble. He has the grit and experience we need AND he scores goals. I could kiss him. Looks like some chemistry is developing between him and Ovie.

Posted by: caraveli | September 23, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Could someone do the search and see if there are any specific rules that the Capitals organization uses to retire numbers? I can't imagine "having an SC cup" is the only criteria, if at all.


Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | September 23, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

if that was the case, they wouldn't have any numbers retired up there since they've never won one.

I don't know who said on here the Caps have 6 numbers retied but I believe there's only been 4 so it has only happened about once a decade and there's no question Olie's number deserves to be up there with 7, 5, 11 and 32.

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"I could kiss him." - Caraveli

Hahaha! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | September 23, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The poll needs one more choice:

WHO CARES?

Personally I don't care, I don't believe the organization or the fans owe anything to any player and vice versa.

I don't believe numbers should be retired. If the team want to honor some of its players, let them post the jersey and picture of that player on the ring of honor (or whatever you want to call it) but the number should be available to any player wishing to use it - who knows, he might be the next greatest player for the franchise.

Having said all that, I was a fan of Ollie since year one, however, I do think he played 2 or 3 years too many but how can any one fault him for that, where else would he get paid so much for so little.

Posted by: hock1 | September 23, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Knuble was my birthday present this year. He's the gift that keeps on giving. BTW, his actual birthday is two days after mine.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 23, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

No Brainer, 37 will always be Kolzig.

Posted by: zosodave | September 23, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

the first 7 or 8 years of Olie's career with the Caps were pretty much uneventful to put it nicely so you really can't fault him for sticking around a few years past his prime since he got such a late start in his career to begin with.

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Knuble is so good....

Posted by: Raber | September 23, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Varly only 9/11 :/

Posted by: rachel216 | September 23, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

6-2 CAPS!! We are going to be unstoppable this year!! With Clark back and with Knuble!! GO CAPS! :)

Posted by: rachel216 | September 23, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Are Ovie, Knuble & Backstrom on the same line? If so, 5 of the 6 goals came from that line. And this shows how good the chemistry is. Exciting.

Posted by: caraveli | September 23, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Think Semin is on line 1. I think Knuble is on line 2 tonight. Great effort by these guys. Gonna be a great year!

Posted by: ejohnsto | September 23, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I hope Knuble gets a hat trick! hehe..

Posted by: rachel216 | September 23, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Without a doubt. Olie the goalie was a stud through some awful years. And even though he and McPhee had a falling out, he's a great guy and deserves nothing but the best from the Caps Faithful. Also, he was the last 1st round goalie picked by the Caps until...Varlamov, I hope 20 years from now we are talking about hoisting his number to the rafters with a few cups under our belts!

Posted by: taylorbrooksdavis | September 23, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh I just checked Knuble's bio and realized he is really good-looking. Now he goes at the top of my list, right next to Ovie.

Posted by: caraveli | September 23, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

It's good to be at a game again. I can already see the Knuble effect on the team. Can't wait for Oct. 3rd.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 23, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

#37 should be retired but first BONDRA should be retired...my brothers generation had Gardner (retired) mine had Bondra (should be retired) and the next generation has Ovi...so 1st should be BONDRA, then the best goalie, Olie

P.S. Wish #12 played his last game as a Cap...he deserved it...

Posted by: Wagnerchristopher | September 23, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Retire #37 and put his banner right up in the rafters. End of story. Goodnight!

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | September 23, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd also suggest you go back and look at some of those defensive rosters in the pre-lockout era that Kolzig played behind. They were far from poor.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | September 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

rofl! thanks for the laugh! "far from poor" hahahhaaa

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 23, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Regarding these two earlier posts:

crooks_c,

Make fun of the Lightning all you want but that organization has names engraved on The Cup. As for us...
It's also silly to overlook teams before the season starts. You never know how it will play out for us or them.

Confidence is cool. Arrogance is foolish.

Posted by: tmac2yao | September 23, 2009

1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't understand the SE Division bashing. In the past 10 years, this Division has two Cups, and the Caps don't have either of em.

Posted by: richmondphil | September 23, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

First, regarding the SE Division:
Yes, we won two Cups in the past 10 years. That, coupled with the Penguins winning last year, and the lingering fart that is the Devils’ three Cups (with our Scott Stevens!!!) makes me rather bitter. My point is that the SE had the lowest cumulative point total of any NHL division last season, including the second worst team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. To call the SE the softest division is not bashing; it is a statistical fact. That the SE has won some fairly recent championships does not change the fact that 60% of the SE come from Georgia and Florida, and 40% of the teams just stink.

As for the Lightning having their name on the Cup: yes, this is true. However, it is a fair statement to say that their team is in total disarray. They make the Washington Redskins look like a finely run organization. (Don’t think me a hater: my family currently has Redskins season tickets and has held Capitals season tickets for over half of their 35 year history of sustained mediocrity.) The Lightning are an absolute mess. Their ownership stinks. Their management stinks. This is not confidence, much less arrogance; this is a fact that is common knowledge in the sporting world.

TMac and Phil: you two usually make good points in this forum. In this case you came up short.

Posted by: crooks_c | September 23, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Joe443--Sure you are right. I also could only think of four players. I read six on this board too.
Fun game. Still little rusty out there but saw lots of effort with the players trying to break into the lineup.
Liked how the players were getting in front of the net--nice start to the game by Knuble. Great addition to the Caps.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 23, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

On the way back from the game. I have never seen that many people for Caps Preseason game. There were as many people at this game as some nights 4 or 5 years ago on a Regular Season night Saturday night games.

Ovie, Backs Semin were in Mid-season form. The Power Play has a chance to be something Special. With Greenie and Ovie at the point and Knuble, Semin, Backs down low. By the way Knuble already making a difference a nice preview of things to come. Ovie's line was toying with Hawks at times.

Really like the way Sloan plays. Certainly quality D-man and he can easily play everyday at this level.

October 1st it all starts.

Posted by: lightshow | September 23, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

It was a great night for Knuble, Ovy, Backstrom, and Semin. I think they've begun to click as the first PP unit.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 23, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

On Knuble. We could say he's the best birthday present I got this year given that they acquired him on my birthday.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 23, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

In my case, Knuble is my #3 favorite, after Ovy and Semin. (Some days I like Ovy better. Other days, it's Semin.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 23, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@Capsyoungguns

Retired players numbers on Caps:

Yvon Labre
Rod Langway
Dale Hunter
Mike Gartner

They also did a tribute to Scott Stevens this past year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | September 23, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I HATE GMGM!

can you BELIEVE what he did, signing WORTHLESS MIKE KNUBLE!

that man DISGUSTS ME!

JESUS! CHRIST!

I hate him so much I'm on medical disability because of it! And I'm going to sue him for what he's done to my life!

Posted by: large23220 | September 23, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

it's good thing they didn't retire #3 for Stevens... that would have been a huge mistake.

Posted by: joek443 | September 23, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"I am curious, did Ollie [sic] at least call the Caps before the announcement and give them a chance to retire as a Cap? By the same token, did the caps ever reach out to Ollie [sic] and say, when you are ready, we will be happy to sign you for a day so you can retire as a Cap. Not sure which side did or did not. Both should have."

The current CBA does not allow those sorts of one-day contracts, so this wasn't a possibility.

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 23, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Not to sound like a total fascist... BUT those who voted "No" should be banned for life :)

Posted by: mrszilla | September 23, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

It is VERY rare in these days to have one player be the face of an organization for such a long period of time.

Of course the capitals should retire his number. Anyone who thinks otherwise has not been a fan for very long, has a poor memory, or is just plain dumb.

Posted by: GoUnited | September 23, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the whole argument that he didn't win a Cup. OUR retired numbers is for greatness for OUR team, we're not talking a HOF induction. It's an honor to the player due to his greatness with the team. 8, 12 & 37 should be retired Opening Night if you ask me. Make it a part of a 35 year celebration.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | September 24, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

This one is not even up for debate. He gave it all, and in the worst of the rebuilding years - when noone cared, Olie was back there. And, he did take us to our ONLY Cup Final. Not sure anyone could have beaten the Big Red Detroit Machine that year.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | September 24, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | September 24, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to add loyalty to my previous post which I think some of you lack, I'm sure there's quite a few in here that never saw Olie after that Cup run because you stopped watching because this team wasn't a winner. 14 years with an organization with few winning seasons, that's loyalty, not to mention he holds most of the goaltending records.

Posted by: Osfan092589 | September 24, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Put it up there, he deserves it. Also, get the Mystics to take down their attendance banners. That's gotta be embarrassing for them. Can't win anything meaningful, so lets throw these banners up. The only reason they even won those is b/c they gave away tickets.

Posted by: futbolclif | September 24, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, 1000 times yes. Olie Kolzig was the face of the franchise and despite the way it ended in 2008, he is still a very popular player here in DC. I have no doubt that Olie would take part in a ceremony even if the rift between him and McPhee hasn't healed if only to thank the fans of the team that cheered him on. It may have been a bad way to have it end, but at the same time, I'm sure Olie is still a favorite of all Caps fans and always will be.

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | September 24, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The Caps will be retiring #12 likely in the coming season (they have to make the arrangements with Bonzai to plan the event). In 2010-2011 I suspect they will retire #37.

Bondra is the second best skater to ever put on a Caps jersey (Ovechkin is the only better player in Caps history) and was regarded in the NHL as one of the best goal scorers of his time. He played in an era where 5 goals was about the average in an NHL game, and he would routinely be among the league leaders in goals, and twice led the NHL (he would have won the Richard Trophy twice, in 1995 and 1998, had it been awarded back then.)

Olie Kolzig was probably the #4 goalie of his era, behind Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur and Dominik Hasek. During Hasek's run of Vezina Trophies, Olie was only one of two goalies to also win the award (Jim Carey of the Caps was the other), winning it in 2000. Sure, he never did win the Cup, but he took a team with (right now) zero Hall of Fame players to the Final in 1998. Admittedly, the 1998 team will eventually have some Hall of Fame players: Adam Oates will get in, and possibly Dale Hunter or Peter Bondra. They lost to the Red Wings who had current Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman, Larry Murphy, Slava Fetisov and imminent Hall of Famers Nick Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, Igor Larionov. Also on that 1998 team was a current Cap, a very young Mike Knuble...

Posted by: MikeL-Caps91 | September 24, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Going to put my two cents in because hey I'm online so what the heck.

I started watching hockey after the lockout so loyalty tests don't apply to me. But it does lend weight to my point. Despite my hockey ignorance during the 90s and despite the fact I lived elsewhere, I had heard of Ollie the Goalie. So his name was closely linked with the Caps--outside of the DC area. He had brand recognition if you will. Bondra is the other name I heard often.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | September 24, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Retiring a jersey is strictly a local thing and is meant to show that this player was very important to the franchise. When you add in his community involvement, this is an easy question to answer. His jersey up there does not mean we all think he should be in the hockey HOF, just that we appreciate every thing about him.

Posted by: chopin224 | September 24, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Quoting....

No.
Please leave emotion out of the discussion, and what quantifiable milestones (when it matters) has he accomplished?

Love Olie, just don't think so many jerseys should be retired.

------------------------------------------
Couldn't agree more. These days, it seems like everyone we like should have their number retired. Only the greatest of the greats should have their numbers retired. The 3 that are up there now deserve it. Olie, nor Bondra for that matter will ever been in the HOF, and they never won it all here. In-fact, as far as I know, neither even have any records to talk about.

I loved watching Olie play as much as the next fan, but retire his number? I don't think so.

Posted by: nigt | September 24, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Let's see some Stanley Cup banners risen to the rafters before we retire more jerseys.

Posted by: stwasm | September 24, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The whole concept of retiring numbers is ridiculous. Yes, honor the worthy players by hanging their name and jersey from the rafters, but let the number be used again. Can't stand watching Montreal with all the non-traditional numbers on the jerseys.

Posted by: je121819 | September 24, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@ stwasm et al.

I wouldn't feel comfortable telling the (North) Stars, Blues, Canucks or Kings organizations how many jerseys they can retire. And I would scoff at any of their fans who tried to do that to us.

So the Hawks and Leafs shouldn't have any jerseys retired from after their last cups in the 60s?

Get out of here.

We should honor our heroes.

Olie left town ungracefully, in an undignified fit of self-importance after his performance had diminished drastically. But his years way more than make up for that. But he is one of our heroes. It is an absolute no-brainer that 37 is his forever.

I with they would do it this very year. After his length of service, and his character in serving, it would not be inappropriate.

Posted by: large23220 | September 24, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Olie's jersey should be retired. You won't see anyone willing to wear that number after all the years Kolzig wore it. Bondra's will probably be retired as well. No one since Jeff Friesen wore the #12 for one game in 2005 has anyone worn that number (he was politely asked to pick another number which was 16).

Posted by: svt97cobra | September 24, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

this is a no-brainer. Kolzig is the Caps' best goaltender in the history of the franchise.

No. 37 was the only reason to root for this team for a number of years before Ovechkin came on board.

It's just a shame Kolzig's prime was before Alex, Backstrom, Green, etc. became Capitals.

With No. 37 in the nets playing the way he did from 1998-2002 the Caps would be a better favorite to win the Cup in 2009.

Posted by: leopard09 | September 24, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I can't pick a favorite moment. Olie always played to win the game and as a fan, that is all I could ask for. Great goalie and a greater person. Thanks for all the memories. I'll be there when #37 is hoisted.

Posted by: hockkeylover | September 24, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe ANY Caps fan would say NOT to retire his jersey. There is NO DOUBT it should be retired. He owns numerous franchise records and was the face of this organization for a decade. He would have been Captain after Hunter if the NHL allowed it. He was the team leader on and off the ice.

Some people on here have questioned what he accomplished. Well, he accomplished more than most of the names up in the rafters already. He won a Vezina trophy as the BEST GOALIE in the NHL. (If it wasn't for Hasek's six trophies, he may have won more than one.) Only Langway can compete with him there. Olie also took the team to its only NHL Finals appearance. Labre, Langway, and Gartner never did that. He is 21st ALL-TIME in Wins for NHL Goalies!

Anyone who says Olie's number should NOT be retired is just a moron.

Posted by: ssm91470 | September 24, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely we should retire Olie's number, because of his years of loyalty and keeping us from falling farther in the standings than we did! Never spoke badly of the team, never failed to show up. I rank him with Langway, whom I remember more than Gartner tho' I am old enough to have seen both play. He is a local legend...where is it written we have to have won a cup?

In fact I recall Olie's first game, which was an away game that he lost, and the announcers (were they ours or theirs?) suggesting that he, alrady called Olie the Goalie, had been overrated.

His departure was badly handled by the team, surprisingly so to me tho I recall some other situations under the former management.

Posted by: Baystater1 | September 24, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company