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Eric Fehr skates with the people

"Just finished public skating with my nephews at Kettler," Eric Fehr wrote on Twitter earlier in the week. "It was packed with people and caps jerseys. Good to see everyone wearing our colors."

The surprising part about this, to me, wasn't that there were lots of people at Kettler wearing Caps jerseys on a Sunday afternoon. It was that Eric Fehr would go skate amongst the people during an off day. He must have been mobbed by all the Caps fans who recognized the pro hockey player cruising around the ice during the public skate, right?

"It was so packed, you couldn't even move," Fehr told me. "So I didn't get my full stride out there. You know, I was just kind of steering the kids around, making sure they didn't wipe out."

And did all those fans in red sweaters recognize the NHL guy in their midst?

"Not very many," Fehr said, when I asked how many people had noticed him. "I would say probably 1/50th of the guys out there recognized me. There were a lot of people out there. I kind of figured if I went there I'd be ok, and that's part of the reason why I did it. I don't know, we look a lot different on ice than we do off ice. I think a lot of people have a hard time making the correlation of how we look off the ice."

Yeah, but still. I'm gonna go back to what Greg Wyshynski wrote concerning the Coyotes playing Flip Cup at Rhino: "If nothing else, this fan interaction reinforces that NHL players are the most down-to-earth and awesome amongst pro sports athletes."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 27, 2010; 12:16 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

I wouldn't recognize Eric Fehr if he walked into my office right now wearing an authentic Fehr sweater.

Posted by: Tony-Tony-Tony | January 27, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"If nothing else, this fan interaction reinforces that NHL players are the most down-to-earth and awesome amongst pro sports athletes."


Amen to that!

Posted by: stwasm | January 27, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Bumping into players at Kettler really humanizes them and makes cheering for them all the more rewarding. They're living a life distant from mine with their fame and huge income, but they still buy jerseys at the pro-shop to send home and even Ovie has to slow down for speed bumps.

I will admit, though, that Dave Steckel is inconceivably tall.

Posted by: false_cause | January 27, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

If they're so awesome, you'd think the Post and its online components would cover them a little more from October to January, but that's crazy, right?

Posted by: Section117 | January 27, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

@Section 117, I love your devoted readership and commentership, but dude, c'mon. Yell at me from October through December if you must, but what's the point of still complaining that I wasn't covering the Caps before once I start covering them?

By every metric we have, our readers demand as much Redskins coverage as we can muster. By every rational standard, my goal is to satisfy our readers. If you tune me out during Skins months, that's fine, but yelling at me now about what I was doing in October doesn't serve much purpose.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | January 27, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Actually I was doing that in October and got lip service then, but that's neither here nor there.

You keep covering Levi Jones' toe cheese and whether or not Chris and Tanner are the coolest brothers ever. Hope you've trained your gag reflex.

Funny, while the only team is actually playing games and usually winning, and not acting like morons when they're not playing games, gets virtually ignored year after every train wrecked year. WaPo's coverage is yet another reason why any closed-minded fan and bogger/cheese enthusiast can pound sand.

Posted by: Section117 | January 28, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

117 - I've probably been a STH just as long as you, and understand your frustrations, but don't see any productivity in kicking people when they do stories on the Caps. If you hate the Post's coverage so much, why do you lurk on the message threads for their articles every day? You as well as I know we have plenty of sources as Caps fans for getting great coverage. The route you are taking does nothing but make our fanbase sound whiney.

Posted by: jmuandy | January 28, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm just gently reminding the author that we're here in the fall months as well, so perhaps focusing on hourly missives on life-threatening signs instead might not be the smartest use of resources and coverage in this town.

Posted by: Section117 | January 28, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

117 - it's elitist fans like you that are the problem and not Mr. Steinberg. You're the type of fan that gets angry when the "Non-Hockey" fans come to games. "They don't know Hockey etiquette." I'm sure I've been going to and playing in games just as long if not most likely longer, and while I'm not making you wrong for how you feel, your anger should be placed elsewhere.

Honestly, accept the fact that Hockey will never be the NFL. Mr. Steinberg has a job to do....like anyone else. The majority of people in MD, DC and VA want coverage of the Skins more than the Caps...it is what it is.

I certainly don't take offense to Mr. Steinberg's article/s. Why would I? If he gets a few more people that typically follow his columns to start watching hockey then that's a success!

I love the Caps and I love this area but I also love the fact that Verizon is packed everygame. The more fans the better and the more press they get, the better off we all are.

Just enjoy it and direct your, obvious, issues towards the Penguins or Flyers....something a little more tangbile if you will.

In the meantime, Go Caps and Mr. Steinberg...if you want to write about Hockey...go for it.

Posted by: joshu1 | January 28, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

It's elitist because the most successful team in town gets ignored by the only paper? OK then. And my "issue" is just the lack of coverage in the fall, nothing more.

Posted by: Section117 | January 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@Section 117

maybe a better way of getting your point across would be

"Dan - thanks for all the recent Caps stories but we'd love to see a little more attention in the fall months next year"

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 28, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Calle Johansson and Steve Konowalchuk used to bring their kids to Piney to "skate amongst the people". Back when comparatively few spectators came to practice and you could stand around chatting with the Caps all afternoon. Good times!

Posted by: AmyS1 | January 28, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Not so surprising. Calle Johansson and Steve Konowalchuk, who were a little more well-known than Fehr, used to bring their kids to Piney to "skate amongst the people". Back when comparatively few spectators came to practice and you could stand around chatting with the Caps all afternoon. Good times!

Posted by: AmyS1 | January 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't feel section117's comments were elitist. I'm frankly tired of hearing about Gilbert Arenas every commercial break(quite literally as soon as last nights cap game ended BREAKING NEWS: Arenas). I get scandals like this always, always sell but at some point everyone is just beating it to death.

Breaking News: Gilbert Arenas had a turkey sandwich for lunch, he's thinking about spaghetti for dinner!

And then proceeds a 10 minute talk about the combination of turkey and spaghetti and why he wants both of them in one day. . .

Posted by: breaklance | January 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

maybe a better way of getting your point across would be

"Dan - thanks for all the recent Caps stories but we'd love to see a little more attention in the fall months next year"

Posted by: SombreroGuy | January 28, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough. We'll see how long it takes before I get raked over the coals for using that one.

Posted by: Section117 | January 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Eric Fehr and his wife have been known to take the Metro to Verizon. Yes, hockey players are real people, real good people. They are the country-music stars of sports, and there aren't any guns in these locker rooms.

Posted by: farmgirl19C | January 28, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Steinberg,

My apologies for the predicament that people like Section117:

"Damned if you do; damned if you don't."

Unfair really but I assure you, Caps fans who have better things to do, will take whatever Caps-related story you can give us. Thanks for doing what you do.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans who have better things to do, will take whatever Caps-related story you can give us. Thanks for doing what you do.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | January 28, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse


Good for you, as Caps fans who want to know more about their team certainly won't get Caps-related stories in the fall if they've got WaPo subscriptions.

Posted by: Section117 | January 28, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Dan, I don't seek to lay all of this at your feet but the coverage of the Caps by the Post
is lacking. I guess coming from Detroit as I do, my expectations might be unreasonable. But while I understand the attention paid to the Burgundy and Gold, I do not understand the continuing rehashing of the Arenas situation. Everyone who cares already knows all they want to about his situation. The fact that the Caps are not only running away
with the Eastern Conference but they are far and away the most exciting team in the league. Their offensive production is akin to the NO Saints. If this were football, the Caps are scoring about 40 points a game. Go see them folks. There is nothing like hockey in person.

Posted by: chopin224 | January 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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