Since 2014, the Capitals have raised more than $500,000 for the nonprofit pet adoption organization Homeward Trails through sales of an annual canine calendar, featuring photos of players posing with dogs in search of forever homes. The 2021 version of the popular holiday gift has a different theme, with photos submitted by players of themselves passing the time during the coronavirus pandemic in various locations across the globe.
Every player on the roster is featured in this year’s calendar, which is available online for $20, with all proceeds benefiting the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation. The calendars will be also be available at MedStar Capitals Iceplex beginning Nov. 23, and the team store at Capital One Arena beginning Nov. 24.
The front and back covers of the calendar feature a collage of several players and Captain, the team’s service dog in training, on a Zoom call. Alex Ovechkin’s inside page features a photo of him with his wife, Nastya Ovechkina, and their two sons, Sergei and Ilya, in Russia. Ilya Samsonov, who shares a page with fellow goalie and offseason acquisition Henrik Lundqvist, is pictured fishing — and possibly pondering the meaning of life — near his home in Virginia. Lundqvist offered up a photo of himself and his two daughters, Charlise and Juli, in the locker room of the Capitals’ practice facility.
While awaiting the delayed start of the 2020-21 season, which is expected to come sometime in early January, Richard Panik has spent part of his free time skateboarding with his family in Slovakia. Teammates Garnet Hathaway and Trevor van Riemsdyk have listened to records and done crossword puzzles, respectively. Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin have bonded with their newborns.
Homeward Trails has suspended all off-site adoption events during the pandemic, but has animals available for adoption by appointment. A Capitals spokeswoman said the team hopes to continue working with the organization on future projects.
While this year’s calendar features far fewer adorable canines than in years past, there are still some very good dogs among its pages, including Jonas Siegenthaler’s pomsky Odey, Hathaway’s pup Huck and Nick Jensen’s good boy Murphy.
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