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Live from the Caps new practice rink

Which, we've just been told, is further above street level than any hockey rink in the U.S. I'm pretty sure that's what we've just been told, anyhow. The sound system sounds something like this: "Sscheeeew schwee shcwewe schsewe."

Anyhow, we're here for the announcement of the naming of the Caps training center, and the official opening of the rink. It will be called Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The special guests for this occasion include Ted Leonsis, the Yorktown High hockey team, Chris Clark, Olie Kolzig, Brian Sutherby and Slapshot, who, we've just learned, is a guy. (Caps beat writer Tarik El-Bashir and I asked Slapshot if he were male or female. He pointed at us, which we assume means he's a guy.)

The opening of an ice rink, it turns out, involves pulling huge sheets of black plastic off the logo at center ice while people cheer. It also involves, naturally, people sitting about 50 feet away from center ice, behind glass, in work clothes, wearing hard hats. Yeah, there are people putting some finishing touches on the rink. Some painting and drilling. So I guess the hard hats are in case any stray paint comes flying in our direction.

If you didn't know, the rink is in Ballston, on the eighth floor, on top on seven floors of parking. Which is a sort of daring thing to do, I guess. "Exciting and crazy all at the same time," Arlington County Board of Supervisors chairman Chris Zimmerman said of the idea. Leonsis just offered "a big wet kiss" to the people who helped make this happen. It is a pretty impressive facility, plus it's near the Ballston food court.

And the Metro. Dainius Zubrus just showed up, 25 minutes late. Bad traffic. Maybe he'll take Metro next time.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 1, 2006; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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I think many others would agree when I say "You have one of the coolest jobs in D.C., hands down."

The opening of the new practice facility? You're there. Throwing pumpkins off of RFK stadium? Why not!

Thanks again for the extra Caps coverage!

Posted by: MJ | November 1, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to point out that the Caps practice complex is now another multistory structure that you can throw objects off of (for research purposes). This is important for verifying results.

Kettler Capitals Iceplex, just kind of doesn't roll of the tongue, does it? KCI it is then.

And who the heck is Kettler? It may be a good marketing ploy, because now I feel a need to know what they do.

Can't wait to find an excuse to go watch a Caps practice a the new place. It should help in attracting free agents.

Posted by: Kim | November 1, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Crap, I knew I should have gone. Got the email from the Caps about it, but had a work conflict- why didn't I blow off those meetings?
So when are you throwing pumpkins off the roof of the practice facility? Or into the food court?

Posted by: DC Sports Chick | November 1, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Please, tell me there is an area where one can watch the Caps practice and at the same time, sucking down a Labatts.

Posted by: JF in NOVA | November 1, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Is the practice schedule located anywhere? I work 5 blocks away and want to know what time lunch is from now on :)


Posted by: Go Caps Go | November 1, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Dan -- thanks for the coverage! I was lucky to get a tour with some other Caps fans earlier this year. It was a shell then compared to what it must look like now.

The views of the Washington Monument are cool. I can't wait to get to a practice!

Dan -- when will the Caps have their first practice there?

Posted by: kthhken | November 1, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The practice schedule is posted on the Caps site here:

It's not always accurate, though, so it's good idea to call the contact number before - or at least check the website right before heading out. Sometimes practices are cancelled last-minute or are optional, so not all the players show up. When they practiced at Piney, it was a horrible, heart-sinking feeling driving over the hill only to see an empty parking lot at the rink after driving 45 min. to get there.

Posted by: Andrea | November 1, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dan,

Thanks again. Caps fans appreciate the blog updates.

Ted Leonsis and I had a series of e-mail exchanges about the facility a few years ago. At the time, the lockout was looming and there were doubts that the facility would ever get off the ground. Credit goes to Ted and the Arlington County folks for staying with the project. I believe it will pay-off in many ways.

Hopefully, we'll get Labatts or Molsons beer served in the facility.

Posted by: vikes-bearcats-gators | November 1, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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