The Capitals will travel up I-95 Tuesday when they open the preseason against the Nashville Predators
as part of the Baltimore Hockey Classic. The Caps last played in Charm City in 1992.
"It's unique that we're sold out for every [home] game this year," Caps general manager George McPhee
said, "and now we can go up to Baltimore for a Tuesday night preseason against a non-conference team and sell that building out."
More than 11,000 fans are expected at Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena, which housed the American Hockey League's Skipjacks from 1982-93 and later the AHL's Bandits from 1995-97.
Tuesday's game is sure to bring back memories for both Predators coach Barry Trotz
and Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau
. Trotz was the coach in Baltimore in 1992-93 when the Skipjacks were a Capitals affiliate and Boudreau played for a Skipjacks team that reached the 1985 Calder Cup final.
"We went to the finals and we lost against a guy by the name of Patrick Roy
," Boudreau recalled on the first day of Capitals training camp.
"The team in Sherbrooke that beat us, I think nine of those guys ended up graduating to the Canadiens the next year and won the Stanley Cup, so there were a lot of good Montreal Canadiens
that beat us the last year I played there."
Boudreau remembers the Skipjacks drawing crowds of 5,000 on their championship run, which were "adequate at the time for the American League."
Among Boudreau's teammates in Baltimore were future NHLers Andy Brickley
, Marty McSorley
, Phil Bourque
, Bob Errey
and John Casey.