Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Councilmember Jack Evans presented Leonsis and the Capitals with the resolution, which congratulated the team on a terrific regular season and return trip to the Stanley Cup playoffs. The resolution also declared that May 6, 2008, is “Washington Capitals Day” in the District in celebration of the team’s winning season.
Both Gray and Evans had a chance to meet with Leonsis and Morrisonn prior to the session; Morrisonn even beat Evans in a brief table hockey game held in the councilmember’s office. In their remarks each gentleman saluted Morrisonn’s courage during the playoffs, when he played despite a shoulder injury and a broken jaw. Gray noted that while everyone recognizes superstars like Alex Ovechkin
, it’s the strength of players like Morrisonn that make a team as successful as the Capitals.
Evans read the resolution, which states in part that “The Council of the District of Columbia salutes The Washington Capitals for its spirit and countless achievements in advancing sporting excellence in Washington, DC and recognizes its role in elevating our city to prominence in the National Hockey League.”
“This was a tremendous honor for the Capitals to be recognized by the D.C. City Council,” Morrisonn said. “My teammates and I take great pride in representing the Washington, D.C., area, and the fans were truly inspirational during our run. This is another example of the community’s support and we appreciate it.”
The Capitals recently completed one of the most exciting seasons in team history. The team began the year 6-14-1 but turned things around after the Thanksgiving Day coaching hire of head coach Bruce Boudreau, who brought a winning attitude and more than 30 years of hockey experience to D.C.
Led by Alex Ovechkin
, Mike Green
and Nicklas Backstrom
and buoyed by trade deadline-day acquisitions Sergei Fedorov, Cristobal Huet and Matt Cooke, the Capitals won the Southeast Division for their first division championship since 2001. Washington became the first team in NHL history to come back from 14th or 15th place at midseason and make the playoffs, and the Caps also became only the second team in NHL history to finish a season in first place in its division immediately after three or more consecutive last-place finishes.
Today’s accolade from the city could just be the beginning of praises heaped on the Capitals organization this offseason. Boudreau, Ovechkin and Backstrom will all be attending the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special on June 12, which will be broadcast live throughout Canada on CBC and the United States on VERSUS from the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto. Boudreau is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, which is presented to the league’s top coach, while Ovechkin is a finalist for most valuable player (Hart Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award) and Backstrom is a finalist for rookie of the year (Calder Memorial Trophy).
Note: The complete Ceremonial Resolution to follow
A CEREMONIAL RESOLUTION
IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Washington Capitals 2007-2008 Season Celebration Recognition Resolution of 2008.
WHEREAS, the Washington Capitals have brought action and excitement to the Verizon Center and downtown Washington for the past decade; and
WHEREAS, the Washington Capitals have helped transform the Chinatown – Gallery Place neighborhood into the excitement packed crossroads of the entire metropolitan area; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals stunned the NHL and fans alike by coming back from a slow start to make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in five years; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals Rocked the Red in the “Phone Booth”, displaying tremendous skill, spirit, and athletic achievement on the ice; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals came back with a 37-17-7 record since Coach Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach in November of 2007; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals won the Southeast Division title against many odds; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals MVP-contender Alexander Ovechkin led the Capitals and the NHL in regular season scoring with 65 goals and 112 points; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals contributes to the good of the community by supporting hundreds of not-for-profit cultural and social service agencies by contributing its artistic programming to support their good works; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals are truly winners in every meaningful way; and
WHEREAS, The Washington Capitals WILL be back next year.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this Resolution may be cited as the “The Washington Capitals 2007-2008 Season Celebration Ceremonial Resolution of 2008”.
Sec. 2. The Council of the District of Columbia salutes The Washington Capitals for its spirit and countless achievements in advancing sporting excellence in Washington, D.C., and recognizes its role in elevating our city to prominence in the National Hockey League.
Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia declares May 6, 2008 as the “Washington Capitals Day” in the District of Columbia in celebration of The Washington Capitals winning season.