Fear not, fans of the puck - we are now a mere 10 days removed from the Washington Capitals rookie camp, which is set to start on September 12th. And while we await the organization's announcement of the practice schedules for both rookie camp and training camp, we've formulated a way to help count down the remaining days. Join us as we take a trip through the Caps' 36-year history by unveiling our choices for the most prolific sweater number by the tens. Digit selection will be based upon a myriad of attributes including skill, significance to the club, mystique, unusual quirks, and any other traits we deem fit.
Starting our countdown examining sweater numbers 99 through 90, elimination started early as there were several numbers never to be sewn onto a Caps jersey. In addition to the 5 numbers never donned for a game (99, 98, 97, 95, and 93), others were worn for 2 seasons or fewer (Phil Housley) or by players that didn't impress in DC (Sergei Berezin). And with Marcus Johansson's contributions still yet to supplement the 90, Joe Juneau makes number 90 stand out in the crowd.
Juneau was credited with 236 regular season points and was a versitile playmaking Center for Washington. While Sergei Fedorov's Game 7 heroics against the Rangers will not soon be forgotten, Juneau forever holds a place in Capitals' fans hearts, scoring the game-winning overtime goal in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals to send the club to their only Stanley Cup Final appearance.
As for infamous moments, #90 has his moment in DC lore as well: a missed a penalty shot in triple overtime on April 24, 1996 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game the Capitals eventually lost.
The greatest Capital to wear a number in the 90s, Joe Juneau, retired from the NHL in 2004 after 878 games, 572 points, two Stanley Cup Finals appearances, a couple of NHL records, an All-Rookie Team appearance, a triple-overtime penalty shot miss, even more NHL lore, a rock band, an airplane he designed, built, and flew himself, and one of the classiest NHL careers on the books.
96: Philip Housley (1996-98)
94: Sergei Berezin (2003)
92: Rick Tocchet (1997), Michael Nylander (2002-04, 2007-08)
91: Sergei Fedorov (2006-08)
90: Joe Juneau (1994-99)