What Happens With the Hats?
What question have I been asked more than any other in the past two days? What happens with the hats? As in, the hundreds of caps and other headgear that tumbled onto the ice Monday night, with one hat reaching frozen water virtually before the lamp was lit.
Let's go backwards first. In the old days, the hats were kept in those giant plastic garbage cans filled with ice, and then donated to charity. Before that happened, though, random people would find the cans and take random hats. I actually wrote about this once, after gaining access to a dark storage room filled with smelly hats.
The game that I saw--a Semin hat trick in Oct. of 2006, which was square in the dark ages--yielded 99 hats. Yes, I counted every single one. Yesterday, there were probably at least 99 Nats hats alone. That's one way to measure the new era. (Rim shot.)
Anyhow, right now, the hats are actually being kept, gathered together and delivered to Arlington. Why Arlington, you ask?
Because the Caps are planning on building a permanent hat-trick display that will potentially be located inside their practice facility in Ballston's Kettler Capitals Iceplex. And any good hat-trick display demands hundreds if not thousands of hat-trick hats. These hats are thus important relics the moment they touch down. Part of history, even.
So next time you toss, think long and hard about which hat you choose. Although, come to think of it, if you think too long, it might cause some trouble....
(I was trying to save this for a world exclusive photo of hats-in-storage, but so persistent have been the questions that I decided to just cave in and put it out there now. Plus, someone else probably broke the news months ago.)
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