VIDEO: Caps make child's wish come true; Steve Ott tossed from faceoff
The Capitals made a young fan's wish come true as he spent the weekend with the Caps including dropping the ceremonial faceoff in which he tossed Steve Ott from the proceedings.
To be clear from the headline, Braden Nienaber's wish wasn't to eject Steve Ott from the faceoff circle, it just happened that way.
The young Nienaber was in Washington over the weekend to see the Capitals up close, coming all the way into town from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan so that he could play a day with his favorite hockey player, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (also from Saskatchewan).
On Saturday young Nienaber, who was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocystosis, which causes white blood cells to to multiply too fast and causes damage to bones and organs, got to spend a day as a member of the Capitals. Really, he got his own jersey, stall and number (sorry, Brooks Laich, you're demoted for the day). He even got in a fight with Tom Wilson at practice. Of course Nienaber delivered the knockout blow.
Nienaber stuck around for the game on Sunday and had the chance to drop the ceremonial faceoff in which Ott came to do his duty as the Sabres' captain. When he pulled up to the dot he was aware that Nienaber wanted Ott gone so Ott told him how to toss himself from the circle. A great moment made all the better by Ott taking part in the fun.
Watch highlights of the whole experience from start to finish. What a great site; we can never see enough of this in pro sports. Kudos to the Capitals, Holtby, Ovechkin, Laich, the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada and even Ott for making one special trip for Nienaber.
By the way, Nienaber can play a little too. He also played in the Mites vs. Mascots game at intermission, playing on the mascot team. At one point he made an end-to-end rush that he nearly finished himself with a nice deke move but was tapped in by a teammate. Heck of an assist, though (and great initial save by the goalie). The play starts at around the 1:30 mark on this video link.
Lucic signs with Oilers, Okposo goes to Buffalo, Bruins land Backes
Chicago will make the Harvard standout's shortlist, per his agent
The NHL's partnership with MLBAM has produced another unique opportunity
Connor McDavid, P.K. Subban and Auston Matthews among players you won't see a whole lot
Kane faces one count of criminal trespass and four counts of non-criminal harassment
When passing the Stanley Cup around a party, don't leave out Granny Kessel