ARLINGTON, Va. - Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz hopes to use the spotlight of the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS, NHL.TV) to raise money for some good causes.
Trotz has collected the autographs of Capitals stars Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby on three white Navy officers' hats. They will be auctioned off with the proceeds benefitting the U.S. Naval Academy hockey program, the Wounded Warriors Project, which funds services and events for wounded veterans, and Best Buddies, which supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"Trying to help out, that's all," Trotz said. "These are programs that we help."
The hats will be part of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation's Stadium Series auction on Handbid.com that will open April 3 and conclude during the second intermission of the Capitals game against the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena on April 7.
"We'll get some pictures out and then we'll get the bidding war started so we can help those programs," Trotz said.
Trotz has great appreciation for the U.S. military, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
During his 17 seasons coaching the Nashville Predators, he took his players to the Naval Academy twice to practice on the rink there and for team-building exercises.
He did the same with the Capitals before the start of the 2014-15 season.
"You get to see people serving our country, and it's the young people," Trotz said. "The Navy hockey team has hosted us and we usually have a speaker about a certain topic they want to talk about. We get to see the campus. We get to have lunch with the midshipmen and you find out they're from all over country, they're young, they're enthusiastic, they're patriots. There's a lot of discipline and order, obviously, and a lot of innocence too, because they're young and just starting out.
"They've got aspirations and dreams as we do, but their aspirations and dreams are more in serving others and serving their country."