It’s August 7 and I’m back from a couple weeks of vacation, and a week and a half away from another couple of weeks of vacation. And then, it will be hockey time again.
A month ago, we were still engulfed in the lingering dust of the free agent frenzy that started (and mostly ended) on July 5. There are still a handful of viable, worthy free agents awaiting their next situation, and we can expect at least a few of them to declare their 2013-14 destinations this month. But other than that, we’re in the dog days, the vast wasteland of the offseason. We’re a week into August – the longest month of the year for hockey fans – and not much happens NHL-wise in the calendar’s eighth month, although you will be able to buy single-game tickets for 2013-14 Caps’ games starting on Friday at 10 a.m.
Don’t despair, though. We’re almost there. By this time next month, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex will be a beehive of activity; the Caps’ rookie camp opens on Sept. 4 and the “big club” (J. Beninati, all rights reserved) plays the first of its seven preseason games on Sept. 14.
And don’t forget that in addition to the annual rookie game against Philadelphia’s rookies and the seven preseason tilts in September – including the Sept. 17 Baltimore Classic against Columbus in Charm City – you’ve also got the annual Caps Convention to look forward to next month. Tickets to CapsCon are on sale now and this is a not-to-be-missed event. I’ve seen the list of alumni slated to be in attendance at this year’s convention, and it’s a strong ledger that could end up getting padded even more between now and then.
Because NHL players will be participating in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the ’13-14 season will start a shade earlier than usual. The Caps open on Oct. 1 in Chicago against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. That date matches the earliest season-opening contest in franchise history; the Caps also opened on Oct. 1 back in 1997-98, also an Olympic campaign.
All we have to do is get through August. We’re one week in. John Walton and I will have a Caps Report for you today at 2 p.m. and we’ll be back next week at the same time for another midweek discussion of the Capitals and the NHL. John and I will both be out of town on Aug. 21, so there’ll be no show that week. We’re back on the air on Aug. 28, and I’m betting we’ll have a handful of Caps back in town and using the Kettler sheet to ready themselves for the upcoming season.
Won’t be long now.