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Kasten on Winter Classic prospects

I will continue to pound on the Winter Classic drum like Alexander Semin at a hippy bongo circle, because it would be an unforgettable D.C. sports experience, and you can never have too many of those. Dan Shaughnessy wrote last month that you should look for the '11 game to be at Nats Park, and the New England Hockey Journal called Nats Park "a favorite."

(This led DCist to say "D.C. Favored," which was cited by NESN.com, which used the word "likely." The hockey-loving D.C. Council said our fair city is being "strongly considered," according to "reports in the Boston Globe," though all I see is that Shaughnessy column, which doesn't use the words "strongly considered" after all.)

In any case, this was enough smoke for The Fan 590 in Toronto to call up Nats Prez Stan Kasten this week. Host Bob McCown, who has apparently interviewed Kasten many times in the past, immediately brought up that issue.

"Well, I read those reports," Kasten said. "The Winter Classic, what a fantastic spectacle the NHL has built it into. We all watched this year, and in years past. It's just been great. So I think someday we would love to have it in D.C. I think we can host it really well, but I have no idea if it will be next year or not. I'm sure there are other teams that would like it as well. I think we do talk to people in the sport. If there ever comes a time when they see fit to bring it in Washington, and I hope that's soon, we'd love to have it at Nationals Park, but I cannot tell you that that's gonna be happening."

The follow-up question was whether Kasten has talked to Ted Leonsis about the possibility.

"Oh, Ted and I have talked about it, sure," Kasten said, "but everybody in every city talks about it. I think it's a fun rumor, it's a fascinating rumor, [but] I really do think you're jumping a little bit ahead.....Listen, I'm sure half the teams, all the teams except those in the Sun Belt would love to someday host a Winter Classic, for sure. and I don't think I'd be telling tales out of school to tell you that Ted -- who is a master showman -- would love to do that, too. I think it would be great for our city, and great for our ballpark, and together we'd do a hell of a job...."

"The spectacle as it has evolved over the last few years is fantastic, another great coup for the NHL," he later continued. "There's no city in which the sport is hotter than D.C. right now. I'll tell you what, I went to a game a couple weeks ago, every single person in the building has a red jersey on; 75 percent of them are Ovechkin but there are other names sprinkled in. And I asked Ted, is it jersey night or something? He said no, this is how people come every single night, on their own. It's become such a tremendous part of our town, and I think the NHL would do really well to capitalize on that with a Winter Classic right here in the nation's capital."

The conversation then turned to baseball matters, which I suppose I might as well include. How long, Kasten was asked, until his own club could capture some of that D.C. excitement?

"Right around the corner buddy," Kasten joked. "Have you not be reading the magazine predictions?... It really is tantalizingly close. I think you will see us move closer to our eventual goals over the course of this upcoming year, and 2011 we expect to be a really serious contending year."

After talking briefly about Stephen Strasburg, the conversation ended with Kasten being asked whether Strasburg and the youngsters are sparking increased fan and ticket interest.

"I think people are waiting for Strasburg to get here," Kasten said. "We're gonna see his first professional game this coming Tuesday; it's a big, big event. MASN, our local cable station, has changed its scheduling in order to televise that event, because there's so much interest back home, so we have that going on.

"We also are really hopeful for a full return for Chien-Ming Wang, who was a Cy Young-type pitcher until he got hurt, and that's a whole new group of fans that we haven't been able to tap into. I mean, hundreds of thousands in our area, and dozens of new media people, so we're opening up that market.

"So if some things break our way, it could be a very, very exciting season, and yes, that means ticket sales, too. But if we get the team right, when we do our job right -- which we haven't done yet -- when we turn the corner, we've seen what the fans in Washington do for the Redskins. We're now seeing what they do for the Capitals. And as soon as we get our job done, that's exactly what they're going to do for the Nationals."

(Many thanks to Reader Russell for the tip.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 5, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Nats  
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Comments

If the NHL can play an outside exhibition game at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in Sept. 1991 when it was 85 degree outside, Nationals Park is certainly a possible venue. I'd like to see the Capitals host the Ottawa Senators, what with both being their respective national seats of government. (Caps vs. Sens has traditionally been good hockey, too.)

Posted by: greggwiggins | March 5, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

'Faces of Zorn'.....CAPS style!

http://washingtoncapitalsblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/faces-of-boudreau_05.html

Posted by: gfsportsfan | March 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Seemed like Kasten stopped himself just short of saying "the Orientals"

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 5, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

NateinthePDX -- that is REALLY funny -- I was thinking the exact same thing.

Posted by: pem2521 | March 5, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"The conversation then turned to baseball matters, which I suppose I might as well include".

Steinblo you are such a tool!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | March 5, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Dan-- I think you're fun to read, so I wanted to let you know that the Post absolutely HIDES your work. There are never any links on the WaPo sports webpage, like ever. The last 10 times I've read you has been because of a link from somewhere else, such as Truthaboutit.net or the Wizards Insider morning brew. I mean, it's at the top of the sports page if Wilbon farts, but it's really really really hard to find you. Seems weird. Whoever is the big picutre guy at the Post website should start thinking more big picture. Because if you read any comments at all, the readers like you 15 times more than Wilbon, but you are absolutely hidden with no links whatsoever, whereas they're apparently considering renaming the paper the Wilbon Post. Really, I think you're writing in a vacume, man, because they hide it so. I mean there are 100 links on that page - and none of yours. Seriously, it doesn't matter that you're a good writer, if the Post hides you. But maybe the Post just forgot what good writing is. Ok, who am I? "While I was supporting a front-runner and chatting with a HOFer and giggling with MJ, I predicted that all of the favorites were going to win this year, and that the front-runners would all be successful. The knuckleheads on the other hand would lose. The underdogs will never ever win anything, because they're all knuckleheads and because I know for sure because I hang with MJ. In fact, some of the knuckleheads on underdog teams are no-account, sorry knuckleheads. No one needs to watch sports this year because: 1. I know everything; 2. I predict that all the predicted winners will win everything; 3. you're a knucklehead; and 4. I hang with MJ. If you disagree, you're a knucklehead." You're right, Dan, that was my Wilbon imitation. Now all I need is a bitter old man who acts like a 14 year old girl if someone challenges him to be my sidekick.

Posted by: Urnesto | March 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Reposting with spaces to make it easier to read:

Dan-- I think you're fun to read, so I wanted to let you know that the Post absolutely HIDES your work. There are never any links on the WaPo sports webpage, like ever. The last 10 times I've read you has been because of a link from somewhere else, such as Truthaboutit.net or the Wizards Insider morning brew.

I mean, it's at the top of the sports page if Wilbon farts, but it's really really really hard to find you. Seems weird. Whoever is the big picutre guy at the Post website should start thinking more big picture. Because if you read any comments at all, the readers like you 15 times more than Wilbon, but you are absolutely hidden with no links whatsoever, whereas they're apparently considering renaming the paper the Wilbon Post. Really, I think you're writing in a vacume, man, because they hide it so. I mean there are 100 links on that page - and none of yours.

Seriously, it doesn't matter that you're a good writer, if the Post hides you. But maybe the Post just forgot what good writing is.

Ok, who am I? "While I was supporting a front-runner and chatting with a HOFer and giggling with MJ, I predicted that all of the favorites were going to win this year, and that the front-runners would all be successful. The knuckleheads on the other hand would lose. The underdogs will never ever win anything, because they're all knuckleheads and because I know for sure because I hang with MJ. In fact, some of the knuckleheads on underdog teams are no-account, sorry knuckleheads. No one needs to watch sports this year because: 1. I know everything; 2. I predict that all the predicted winners will win everything; 3. you're a knucklehead; and 4. I hang with MJ. If you disagree, you're a knucklehead."

You're right, Dan, that was my Wilbon imitation. Now all I need is a bitter old man who acts like a 14 year old girl if someone challenges him to be my sidekick.

Posted by: Urnesto | March 6, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Alright, competitive in 2011 it is. I'll put it on my calendar.

That group of hundreds of thousands of fans that they havent tapped into should really read "people who dont know anything about us, but will buy some tickets for reasons unrelated to actual baseball itself". They seem to be running out of those people. Presidents races can't entertain for five years.

Posted by: makplan20002 | March 6, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Stop the madness! No more hockey games in baseball parks on New Years Day ANYWHERE. I don't care if it's in Cuba...NO MORE OUTDOOR GAMES!

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | March 8, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Presidents races can't entertain for five years.

Posted by: makplan20002 | March 6, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse


I disagree, they just need to ad more presidents to the races, Some day I want to see all 44 presidents in a bracket tournament.

They do 4 man races for the entire season, then during the last 5 games they have a final series races with the top 16 split into 4 races and then the final 4 race in the last game of the year. I think if you do the math right each president would have to race 19 times, you could bracket and market it if you like, turn it into a whole thing. Have special race nights, like former generals nights and stuff like that.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 8, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Randy Hawkins. The entire Winter Classic thing is an abomination and demeans the NHL.

Posted by: poguesmahone | March 8, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Ooookkkkkkk??? This doesn't make sense when you have one of the few ice skating rinks (Fort Dupont) underfunded and running out of money quickly. Why don't they make it a charity game with the funds going to the rink or how about Mr Leonsis letting the kids raise funds between periods of a Caps game. Hockey fans love helping kids out. Just a thought....

Posted by: jmanthom | March 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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