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Kolzig: "I'm a Cap through and through"

(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

Olie Kolzig is coming to D.C. this weekend for the second Caps convention. The ice has been thawed between him and his old franchise, after at least some small amount of bad feelings on his departure for Tampa. He went on Elliot in the Morning Wednesday to discuss these issues, saying he still roots for the franchise and that "I'm a Cap through and through."

"What happened a few years ago, that's in the past in my mind," he said. "I always viewed myself as a Capital, regardless of where I ended my career....The things that happened back in '08 just kind of fade away, and you almost start missing being around that atmosphere, being around the guys that you played with. And when I watch the playoffs, I'm not gonna lie to you, I was envious. I sat there and I said, if things had been different, had I maybe played better, had I not gotten hurt, had I this and that, you almost have a little pity party for yourself and you say to yourself I could be part of this. And then you just realize, hey, age took over."

Kolzig also said repeatedly that he probably should have retired after the '08 season, and that he sort of still considered himself part of the franchise even after he was gone. Elliot also asked him about the atmosphere in this town, and the fact that the franchise can now pull off something like a preseason convention.

"Just seeing the enthusiasm of the city, the way it's taken off the last few years, it's just amazing to watch," Kolzig said. "Even back in the heydey, the year that we went on the Stanley Cup run, I don't think there's any way you could have pulled that off, but it's a totally different city, totally different team. I mean, they are, if not the most exciting team, right there. The move to Arlington really helped, the changing of the uniforms back to the old traditional uniforms, and ultimately a Stanley Cup contending team. That's ultimately what the city wants, and that's what they have. And I think they really, really fell in love with the team."

Listen to it all here.

By Dan Steinberg  | September 29, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Olie is a class act.

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

well, he should be "a Cap through & through", since he's the best goalie we've ever had,no one else comes close!

Posted by: Hattrik | September 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Olie is an Admiral, a Captial and a Gentleman.

Posted by: MikeNelmsReturns | September 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

He should use the term "we" in place of "they" when talking about the CAPS......

Posted by: LIVINIT1 | September 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

And I will have my picture taken with him on Saturday at the Caps Convention. Worth the cost. Hope I don't get all swoony.

Posted by: pirate1 | September 30, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

People are probably going to jump all over me for this, but I'll dive in anyway, because topics like this inevitably lead to the "Olie was totally disrespected" comments, and I want to head that off at the pass.

Olie was, indeed, almost a total class act. He was as much of a gentleman as you will find in the NHL. He was a tremendous locker room leader. You loved to see this guy succeed, because the guys who are the purest "good guys" in the sport, and in the world, tend not to succeed as often as we'd like.

But the last chapter of Olie's history as a Capital wasn't pretty. He was a bad goalie throughout his last full three seasons with the club. Sure, he didn't have a good team in front of him either. But we can name dozens of goaltenders in modern history alone who played well enough to give their crappy teams a chance to win. In his last three seasons, Olie was not that sort of goalie. He was the opposite sort--the sort that would sometimes allow a weak goal or two that would ruin an otherwise stalwart effort by the crappy team in front of him. And he was making a ton of money for it.

I don't claim to remember every detail of the his departure from Washington, or how some fans claim he was "treated" by management. But I do know that some of his personality traits that made him an awesome goaltender in his youth--his stubbornness and his passion to compete--were totally misplaced at the end of his tenure in DC. This is a guy who should have seen the writing on the wall LONG before any of this went down. People felt bad for him only because of the comments that were made when he went to Tampa. "I could have played better, I thought I was going to be a part of this new team." We felt bad for him, yes, but good god, was the team really supposed to overlook three bad seasons and give him the #1 spot just because we all loved him as a person and he used to be a good goalie?

I'd like to welcome Olie back into the culture of DC sports, as a vocal and active and beloved commentator of the game. But there were a lot of people--not just DC fans--who jumped on the "Washington is a classless organization" bandwagon after the Olie situation. Maybe management did approach it the wrong way. But my two cents is that Olie should have seen the writing on the wall, and he never should have made negative public comments after finally being told he wouldn't be back between the pipes anymore. I'd like to see the air get cleared even more than it is in this article. It looks like the air is clearing, but we're not there yet. You can tell he's still got that good 'ol stubborn competitive spirit when he talks about what "might have been" in this article. Hey Olie, we loved you! But none of what you daydream about might have been. It wasn't just time for the Caps to move you when they did, it was overdue.

Posted by: struggler | September 30, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

...and it hurt to see him wear another teams jersey. I get the business of it all, we all know it. But still, really seems a shame he ever wore that Bolt on his chest. Easily forgotten though, he will always be a Cap. I'd still like to see him back in the organization...c'mon Ted, put down that club sandwich and make it happen.

Posted by: soloman5000 | September 30, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Great to hear. I'll always be an Olie fan. Wish he lived in the area so he could be a regular at games.

Posted by: drischord | September 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

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