New Washington Capital T.J. Oshie talks about the importance of giving back to his new community at this year's Casino Night benefit.
Washington Capitals players trade pucks for chips to raise money for charity at last year’s Casino Night.
“When I visited Washington, DC, for the first time since being acquired by the Washington Capitals in July, I was struck not only by how welcoming the Capitals fan base was toward me, but also by their loyalty to the team and passion for the city itself. While signing autographs during the team’s Fan Fest event at our training facility this summer, I met several individuals who praised my new team and the impact it had on the community. Their pride was contagious, and hearing their stories about the area makes me so excited to start a new chapter in Washington, not just on-ice, but off-ice as well.
“Prior to my arrival in Washington, I played seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues. In that time, experience taught me how important it is to give back and how far the team’s impact can reach beyond the ice. Through wishes we granted to sick children, donations we made to support important causes, and other charitable activities, I saw firsthand the power that sports have to transform a community.
“Like many professional sports teams, the Caps recognize they’re in a unique position in their ability to support charitable initiatives and community programs, and it’s a role we take very seriously. With that in mind, I am excited to join my new teammates and coaches and our staff at Capitals Casino Night at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Casino Night excites me because it offers us the chance to interact closely with fans in a unique setting, away from the ice, all in the name of charity. My teammates and I, along with the coaching staff, will spend the night playing casino games with fans to raise money for Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, which supports charitable efforts related to youth basketball and hockey, education and scholarship, pediatric health and fitness, military and veterans affairs, hunger, and homelessness.
“Of course it’ll be fun to play blackjack with Alex Ovechkin and craps with Nicklas Backstrom, but the most important aspect of Casino Night is the impact the proceeds will have on local individuals in need. Throughout my hockey career, I’ve encountered many situations that put my position as a professional athlete into perspective, and I’ve learned how important it is to assist those who are underserved. Although my time in Washington has been short, its people have already made me feel so welcome, and I can’t wait for us to come together on Casino Night to benefit our amazing community.” November 14 at 6 p.m. For more information, visit capitals.nhl.com