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Hockey 'n Heels

[Edit: At the end of this item, I talk about the Caps' wives. Well, Jamie Heward's wife could not have been happier about being in Washington. She kept talking about how great the group is, and how much they like living here. Then Heward gets traded the following day. Seeing that made me cringe.]

I managed to make it to about half of last night's Hockey 'n Heels night at the V.C. Of course, virtually the first people I ran into were fellow bloggers D.C. Sports Chick and Miss Chatter, which was nice.

Anyhow, the event, if you don't remember, featured a locker room tour led by Joe Reekie, and an on-ice demo with Jamie Heward and Shaone Morrisonn, and an equipment discussion with team equipment guys and Comcast bloody SportsNet's Carol Maloney, and a Q&A with select Caps wives, plus a cocktail hour that I, unfortunately, skipped. D.C. Sports Chick and Miss Chatter have or will have highlights, plus photos. My own highlights are as follows:

First stop: Joe Reekie's tour. Joe Reekie has a nice vibe with the ladies. We saw the players' lounge, featuring exercise bikes, and the players' sinks, featuring shaving cream, and then the players' locker room, featuring authentic players' odors.

Next stop: Equipment discussion. Naturally, some ladies took the word "equipment" a bit literally, and I can't believe the ombudsman never gets on my case for stuff like that. Is she even paying attention? Anyhow, I talked to at least two groups of fans who had taken photos of the jock straps, which were apparently on display somewhere, although I didn't notice that. Also, one woman told me she took a photo of Morrisonn's Calvin Klein's. This is approximately the time when I began to feel uncomfortable. Oh, also one woman asked which Cap has the biggest skates, and an equipment guy said two players have a size 14 running shoe (Jeff Schultz and Bryan Muir, I believe), and I swear, there were oohs and ahhs. The above bloggers can verify that this actually happened.

Next stop: On-ice skills challenge. Heward and Morrisonn helped the attendees, who were standing on carpets, take a standing wrist shot, and then pass the puck back and forth with the pros, and then shoot it again. Some of the women attempted one-timers. A few really nailed the thing. Others whiffed. I saw one woman fall over, but I can't make fun of her since I almost ate it myself. Ice, it turns out, is slippery.

Jamie Heward will coach one day. He was an obvious coach. His praise for the wrist shots of women in heels on carpets was lavish and genuine, and he was honestly trying to help them improve. Also, there were a lot of posed photos. And assistant coach Dean Evason skated around threatening the women with push-ups.

At this point I attempted some in-depth interviews. I asked the women why they attended the Hockey 'n Heels event.

"I just wanted to meet Caps," Meg Jones said. "I thought about turning the ring around."

Meaning her engagement ring. Ha. Here's hoping her fiance is not a Bog reader.

"Ok, say you're going to the game with a guy friend; you'd like to ask questions about the game, but they assume you already know," Tohry Petty said. "We get to ask questions that we don't know, like how long is a shift change?"

I also met a group of self-described hockey widows, whose husbands play rec league stuff twice a week.

"Are you an actual reporter, or are you someone they sent to get their wings tested?" asked the aforementioned Meg Jones. Solid question.

Her friends were the ones with the Calvin Klein's photo. They showed it to me. Great moments in journalism.

"Honestly, I think he wanted us to see them," Jodi DeRonde told me. I asked what she'd do with that particular photo.

"Send it to my mother," she said. "She's a big hockey fan."

Next stop: A back hallway. Lawrence Nycholat walked by. He was supposed to participate in the event last night. Then he got traded yesterday afternoon. We nodded. I tried asking my PR shepherd what he was doing there. She changed the subject.

Next stop: The Caps' wives answer questions. Finally the good stuff. The Caps' wives turned out to be one wife (Heward's), one fiance (Brent Johnson's) and one girlfriend (Morrisonn's). Since there were bloggers and video cameras, I assume it was all on the record. So we learned that the Hewards have been together since they were 17, and that Johnson absolutely must have a brown bath towel hanging over the bathroom door at home as some sort of good-luck charm, and that Morrisonn met his girlfriend at a Halloween party while wearing a mullet wig, and that Heward doesn't wash his socks during a win streak but that his wife treats them with Febreze, and that Johnson's fiance was raised by rabid Penguins fans, and that Morrisonn's girlfriend is close friends with Gordie Lane's daughter, and that Johnson considered dyeing his hair black during one poor stretch, and that when he has one good game he won't shave again until he has another good game, which is how I feel about good blog items, which is why I'm unshaven so often nowadays.

Also, I'm willing to bet this is common knowledge, but Morrisonn's girlfriend (Krystal Stotz) is a Maryland grad (and former dance team member and former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader, despite the fact that she's a Redskins fan), and Johnson's fiance (Danielle Ence) is a Virginia Tech grad and huge Hokies football fan, and since they were sitting next to each other I tried to incite some ACC hostility, in honor of the Local Hoops Poll, but they weren't biting.

"If she went to Duke it'd be a problem," Stotz said.

"Yeah, if she went to UVA it would be a problem," Ence said.

"Virginia Tech I can deal with," Stotz said.

"Exactly right," Ence said.

In terms of the current basketball teams, well, Stotz began following the Maryland women after last year's run, and Ence is a huge football fan ("This is the first season where I haven't watched every single Hokie football game," she said), so I pretty much failed in finding Local Hoops Poll implications. Sorry.

Also, I wanted to get a gift bag, which included a compact, but I failed. And regarding the gift bags, a lot of women were saying they'd rather have a hockey puck than a compact anyhow, which was nice.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 27, 2007; 5:33 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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