Among the many entertaining break-out sessions at the Caps Convention this past weekend, one stood out to fans and players alike. “Kids Ask the Craziest Questions” featured Matt Bradley, David Steckel (in the middle, hanging his head with laughter), and Brooks Laich.
The young fans’ questions ranged from basic (“What was your first NHL goal?”) to the kind of open-ended questions that led to some serious self-editing by the players (“What’s the craziest thing a girl ever did to get you to notice her?”), all asked with wide-eyed innocence by kids thrilled to be chatting with their red-clad sports heroes.
At the Capitals’ annual media luncheon yesterday, and I asked Matt Bradley if they had as much fun on the Kids panel as it seemed. “First of all I didn’t expect that many people there . . . I thought there’d be 50 kids or so, and that we’d be looking for questions, but we couldn’t get to everyone. Like all three of us said at the time, it just flew by because we were enjoying it so much. The kids had pretty basic questions, so the only thing we had to do is keep it G-rated . . . for some of the questions there’s a G answer and an X-rated answer, and we definitely had to make sure to give the G one.”
David Steckel was equally pleased. “Oh, we could have done that for three hours and it would have felt like fifteen minutes,” he enthused. “When they said we were done we were like, ‘Really?’ I don’t know if the crowd knew it, but it was as much fun for us as it was for them.”
“We were just hoping not to lay an egg . . . it was packed in there! Though I was a little worried when Brooksie got under fire right away [asked if he had a girlfriend]. I was sweating at first, had to wipe the brow a bit.” [laughs]
At the convention, a child asked what his favorite chocolate is; with no hesitation, Steckel replied “Hershey’s!” When I asked him about it, Steckel responded, “I mean, how can I not say that, right?” As for the chances of removing the G-rating from their answers, Steckel replied with a grin, “If somebody spends a few days with us, that’s about the only way that’s gonna happen.”
As we were heading out, I noticed Alexander Semin having some fun with Alexander Ovechkin during one of Ovi’s interviews, taking control of the video camera and basically doing whatever he could to get Ovi to break out laughing.
All the players seemed to be in good spirits, and looking forward to the season with great anticipation. The media luncheon, always a fun gathering, just provided further evidence that Capitals fans can rest assured: the team’s chemistry off the ice is just as good as it is when the puck drops.