The Washington Capitals announced on Monday morning that they had signed forward Joe Snively, a native of Herndon, Va., to a two-year entry-level contract beginning with the 2019-20 season. Snively participated in a media teleconference on Monday afternoon to discuss the signing and his Capitals fandom growing up in the area.
(On signing with the Capitals)
"Signing with the Capitals, it means a lot because they're my hometown team. I just thought, in speaking with the scouts, especially [Capitals scout] Danny Brooks, and my agent, I thought it was the best move. It seemed like a good opportunity for me and I'm really excited for it."
(On growing up a Caps fan)
"I love the Caps. They're my favorite team. I root for them every year and it was really special to watch them win the Stanley Cup. I've been following them since they wore the black and gold jerseys. My dad's a season ticket holder, so every year I watched the Caps. That kind of sums it up."
(On meeting Caps players as a kid)
"Yeah, I got to meet a few players in community skates and stuff like that. Guys like Brooks Laich came out to skate at our practice one time. I had the same dentist as Alex Ovechkin, and I got to meet him. He signed a pair of gloves for me, maybe when I was 12, about 11 years ago. That was a funny story. Besides that, just around the rink - sometimes you see Caps players at the local rinks."
(On meeting Ovechkin)
"I saw him at the dentist's office. I was just waiting for my annual cleaning and Ovechkin came in, obviously a lot younger than he is now, but of course I recognized him. I had my hockey bag in the car because I was going to practice, and I got a pair of my hockey gloves signed, which is funny."
(On players he admired growing up)
"I really admired Backstrom. I just admire his play-making ability. That's something I try to learn from him. He's just an unbelievable passer and I've been watching him play for the Caps since he was drafted. That's a guy for sure who I've looked up to."
(On playing for Little Capitals)
"I played for the Little Caps for two years of pee wee hockey, two years of Bantam hockey, so four years. And then I played at Selects [Youth Hockey] for one year. But all four years I played at Kettler."
(On moving north to continue career)
"It was my sophomore year of high school when I moved to play there for one year. I just thought it would be a good opportunity to get some exposure to college scouts. It also seemed like a good opportunity to skate every day and have everything on one campus."
(On his parents' professions)
"Yes, both of my parents are eye doctors. My dad has an office in Vienna."
(On if new hockey trends favoring speed have helped his rise)
For sure, I think something about my game that I try to improve is my skating. I think that's one of my best attributes. If I can help the team, the organization, then for sure, if that's the way the league's going.
(On age when he started playing)
"I was five years old, or six, when I started to skate."
(On seeing the growth of youth hockey since Caps success)
"Absolutely. When the Caps started to become successful, you could just see the amount of people in the local rinks had increased. More kids wanted to play hockey. In general, it became a hockey city. It's been really cool, especially being in Northern Virginia, just seeing the hockey community get so much bigger."
(On dream to be a part of the organization)
"For sure, I mean you grow up watching the Caps. You dream of playing for them. It felt really great to sign a contract with the Capitals, but my goal is to play in an NHL game for them. Still have a lot of work to do before then."
(On if he told Ovechkin he'd play for the Caps)
"I can't recall that. I don't know. I don't think I said that."
(On signing with hometown team over other teams)
"It for sure played a factor. There were some other aspects of the decision that were also important. But for sure, signing with the Capitals, my hometown team, and the possibility of playing in the NHL for them was a big plus for me."
(On possibility going to Hershey)
"I'm still trying to figure that out, talking with my agent. I would play maybe with Hershey in the spring, but we haven't decided yet. I might not. We have to kind of navigate my class schedule and Hershey's games so we're still trying to figure that out."
(On how many teams he spoke with)
"Not as many as the report said. I guess someone said it was 20. It came down, maybe the last day, to five who my agent was talking to. I don't know the exact number.