Jay Beagle circled his return to Capital One Arena on the calendar in the summer, and the Washington Capitals made sure it was special.
The Vancouver Canucks forward got a standing ovation from the fans and a hug from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, during his first game as a visitor in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Beagle spent his first 10 seasons with the Capitals and was a member of their Stanley Cup championship team last year. He signed a four-year contract, $12 million with the Canucks on July 1.
Many Capitals fans wore their Beagle jerseys and brought signs showing their appreciation for his time in Washington. He appeared to get emotional on the bench after the video and warm ovation.
"Obviously really special," Beagle said of the reception after the Capitals 3-2 win. "I didn't really expect that. It's something that I'll remember forever."
Beagle admitted he had a hard time regaining his focus after the tribute video, which came during the first period.
"That was tough," he said. "I felt like I was jumping pretty good [in the first period]. I had good legs, then that kind of set me back for the rest of the first. They planned that. That was dirty of them."
Beagle wasn't only on the receiving end of warm gestures Tuesday. After he was left as the last player on the ice during warmups, which earned him a cheer from the crowd, Beagle showed his appreciation by giving away pucks and sticks to a few lucky fans.