ST. LOUIS -- T.J. Oshie didn't want his father to miss this.
When the Washington Capitals forward was voted by the fans to play for the Metropolitan Division in the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center on Saturday, he arranged for his father to make the trip from Seattle right away.
Tim Oshie, who is fondly known as "Coach Osh," was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2012 and missed the Capitals' mentors trip in December. But T.J. wanted to make sure he was there to see him play in his first All-Star Game, particularly with it being held in St. Louis. Oshie played the first seven seasons of NHL career with the St. Louis Blues before being traded to the Capitals in 2015.
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"It's always great to have 'Coach Osh' around," Oshie said. "He missed our fathers' trip this year. It's kind of hard for him to travel, but we were able to make it work for him to come to St. Louis where a lot of the people you see working down here behind the scenes probably know him better than they know me, so he got to see some old friends. Just special to have him here to witness my first All-Star Game in person."
Oshie had a goal and an assist, but the Metropolitan Division lost 9-5 to the Atlantic Division in the semifinals. Although that truncated Oshie's All-Star Game experience, it didn't make it any less special. Shortly after Oshie scored at 5:29 of the first period to give the Metropolitan Division a 3-2 lead, he was shown on the center ice video scoreboard in a split screen with him on the left and his father on the right. Oshie used the opportunity to wave to his daughters Lyla, 5, and Leni, 3.
Video: MET@ATL: Oshie roofs shot home from the slot
"That's their favorite part of them going to games," Oshie said.
Oshie, who was cheered when he was introduced before the game and after he scored, was glad to share the experience with his dad. Tim was in Las Vegas when the Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup in 2018, but doesn't get to see T.J. play in person that often anymore.
"I don't want to get in too many details, but there's certain milestones that I've made in my career that I want him to be a part of if he's able to make it, and this was one of them," Oshie said. "He came to St. Louis quite a bit when I played and he has a lot of friends here, a lot of people that treat him really good as well. This was something that I didn't want him to miss."
Video: TJ Oshie discusses being at this first All-Star Game
Although his father has trouble with his memory at times, Oshie said he was happy to return to St. Louis for the All-Star Game.
"He's really excited," Oshie said. "When he wakes up in the morning, I don't think he knows that he's in St. Louis, but as the day progresses and when he gets to the game, he sees the jerseys out there. He's got his girlfriend here that is very, very good with him and very good with understanding when he needs a little help remembering where he is or what he's doing. But I've had a bunch of people come up to me and say they thought Coach looked great."
Oshie was joined on the Metropolitan Division team by two Capitals teammates, defenseman John Carlson and goalie Braden Holtby. They said it was special to see Oshie experience the weekend with his father too.
"In a short amount of time he's became a pillar for our team, and we're all rooting for them and their family with what he's going through," Carlson said. "To me, I know how much it means to [T.J.] and just how much his dad loves hockey, loves being around the guys and loves experiences, whether it's the fathers' trip or what have you. We're all family guys and love our families, but I think it's extra special.
"Like T.J. said about his dad missing the fathers' trip, on that trip you felt a difference with him not being there."