There was one lesson I learned very early on covering the Capitals: look forward to the development and preseason camps, because you have a chance to interview Braden Holtby.
I had a lot of hockey learning to do at the first development camp I covered in ’09—so much, in fact, that I didn’t even realize I’d asked the director of media relations at the time, Nate Ewell, where I could find the PR contact I’d been corresponding with about covering the camp (Kelly Murray, who put up with my rather clueless initial email about interview requests). And Braden—as young as he was then—was very patient with my questions. I could ask him about things like Jim Craig’s mind technique in the 1980 Olympics, and Braden would always give answers that helped clarify a goalie’s mindset—or at least as much as a “civilian” like me could understand.
I learned a lot, so I got into the habit of bugging him at every camp he attended in D.C. I think eventually he got used to it—I always wonder what player