Capitals hold virtual visit with DC's Fort Dupont Cannons originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Fort Dupont Ice Arena is the only full-size indoor ice arena in Washington, D.C., and the home of the Fort Dupont Cannons, the oldest minority youth hockey program in North America.
On Monday, Capitals players paid a (virtual) visit to the Cannons and discussed everything from their hockey origin stories to pregame routines and the best drills to build their hockey skills at home during the pandemic.
For the Cannons to have intimate access to the players who sit where they one day hope to be is special. Capitals defenseman John Carlson spoke about finding his love for hockey as a youth player and the things that helped him develop off the ice.
"Certainly my dad when I started, he had a love for the game, so that's how he kind of brought it to me and my brother," Carlson said.
.@ovi8, @tom_wilso, @BDillon04, @backstrom19 & @JohnCarlson74 virtually visited @DCCannons yesterday!
If you've ever wondered about Carlson's hockey influences or whether Ovi aims his one-timers, these kids got you covered. pic.twitter.com/lwJpdyUWjJ
— NBCSports Washington (@NBCSWashington) February 17, 2021
"But second to him, and probably I think overall more important, was my brother. We spent so much time together as brothers playing various sports together and certainly hockey, not just at the rink because our ages were different, but at home. Practice time in the driveway, at the park, wherever we could play hockey, that's pretty much all we did for a long time."
Due to the pandemic, the Cannons missed their season this year but have continued to hone their skills with drills at home. The virtual event was held in place of their annual meeting with the Cannons held either at MedStar Capitals Iceplex or at Fort Dupont, where the Capitals participate in a Cannons practice.
Though they couldn't get on the ice together this year, Caps players are looking forward to seeing the Cannons hard work at home pay off when they meet again.
"We're looking forward to that day when we can get back together and practice together," Caps winger Tom Wilson said. "We want to see all the improvement when we see you guys next year."