It’s not a surprise that Clinton Portis would be released this off-season – his season had ended with injury and he had visibly slowed down the past few years. Still, it makes you pause. Whatever you say about CP, he played hard, and he tried to keep everyone entertained. Did you realize CP had been here eight years? Time goes by quickly when the team is struggling …
And while David Steckel was not a fixture on the Washington sports scene the way CP was – few could say they dominated coverage and conversation the way Portis did – Steckel’s departure hits home, too. As one fellow Caps fan said “he was in many ways the heart and soul of the team.”
Sure, I can point to weaknesses in Steckel’s game – that’s easy. But he won face-offs, killed penalties and made hits, ground out minutes on the fourth line, dug pucks out of the corners. He did the stuff few others on the Caps were willing to do. He was a nice guy on a team of nice guys.
Am I happy Arnott’s here? Now we have our 2C. Can’t wait to see him play – and to see what that kind of gritty veteran leadership – from someone who’s won a Stanley Cup – can do in the Caps young locker room.
But I’m still sad to see Stecks go. It’s the turning of a page.
Good luck to you both, CP and Stecks.