ARLINGTON, Va. - At the end of the Washington Capitals morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Monday, the team was joined on the ice by players from the Beijing Primary School.
As part of Hockey is For Everyone Month, the players will be at Verizon Center for the Capitals' Feb. 1 game against the Boston Bruins (NBCSN, SNE, SNO, TVA Sports, NHL.TV) along with youth players from Fort Dupont Ice Arena in Washington, D.C., the American Special Hockey Association and Kettler Capitals Iceplex programs. Seeing the youth players from Beijing made Capitals coach Barry Trotz appreciate how much hockey has spread globally.
"If you didn't know all these young kids are from Beijing, China, you'd think they're North American (with) their skill level," Trotz said. "They're all having fun. They're working on their skills. … They were telling me there's like 100 teams over there about this age group. There's a lot of girls and boys playing. That's great for both genders to be playing and enjoying our sport and growing our sport."
To celebrate Capitals Chinese Cultural Night, the Feb. 1 game will be telecast on CCTV in China and feature New Year's greetings by the Capitals players to honor the Chinese New Year. Prior to the game, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis will hold a news conference announcing the team's plans for Hockey is for Everyone Month. He'll be joined by Zhou Yunjie, chairman of ORG Packaging, a Beijing-based metal packaging product manufacturer that is one of the sponsors of the event.