With the untimely departure of the 2010-11 Hershey Bears from postseason play, the Washington Capitals’ practice facilities at Kettler Capitals Iceplex are about to get a little more full. The Black Aces, you see, are making their way down from Chocolatetown to help out the big club.
For those who don’t know the origins of the ‘Black Aces’, here’s a bit of history (per the Washington Times):
“The term refers to the unlucky “Dead Man’s Hand” in poker, which includes the black aces. In the 1940s, Eddie Shore, who was owner of the Springfield Indians, used this term originally to refer to players who he considered to be “out of luck” and needed to work their way back into the lineup from injury or the doghouse. Eddie was pretty famous for how hard he made his “Black Aces” work. Not only did they have to work extra hard in practice and scrimmages, they were also required to be available for every game to play on an emergency basis and to work around the hockey rink, doing various odd jobs such as painting, blowing balloons, and selling popcorn and programs.”
With the sudden influx of young talent, the Caps have some decisions to make, namely what odd jobs these Aces should be tasked to do around Kettler and the Verizon Center.
- Once Mathieu Perreault and Andrew Gordon make the drive down Karl Alzner Highway Route 83, they’ll be entertaining the kids by dressing up as Oompa Loompas and running around Verizon Center.
- Also there to get the kids laughing will be Steve Pinizzotto, making balloon animals! “Make me a bicycle, clown!”
- To maintain order in the Kettler parking garage, Braden Holtby will serve as the Caps’ official ‘Upper Level Parking Attendant.’ No truth to the rumor that he’ll have to wash Ovi’s car when he’s on break.
- Patrick McNeill will be Karl Alzner’s personal ‘Beardsman’, keeping The Beard from dragging on the floor and removing any bits of food or small animals that may become trapped in King Karl’s whiskers.
- While not able to play with the Caps this postseason, Dimitri Orlov could be brought in to practice with the club. He can also be seen donning a wig and fake missing tooth and doing Ovi impressions outside Section 108 during Caps home games. His “I’m siiick!” is very good.