Tuesday's NHL: Stanley Cup visits Capital Gazette staffers

By Bill Wagner
Capital Gazette

Craig “Woody” Leydig conducted an interview with the Capital newspaper around 2 p.m. last Thursday afternoon.

Leydig, the assistant equipment manager for the Washington Capitals, did the phone interview from the team’s headquarters — Kettler Iceplex, in Arlington, Va.

Shortly after hanging up the phone, Leydig walked into the laundry room and saw breaking news on television announcing the shooting incident at the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis.

“I turned to my co-workers and told them I just got done doing an interview with a reporter who might be in that building,” Leydig said. “I was absolutely stunned and extremely upset.”

Leydig immediately called the reporter back to make sure he was OK and was greatly relieved. However, the Annapolis resident was devastated upon learning that five other employees of Capital Gazette had been killed in the horrific incident.

Every coach, player, trainer and equipment manager with the Washington Capitals is allowed to spend one day with the Stanley Cup. Leydig took possession of the silver chalice on Tuesday, and the Capital Gazette was foremost in his thoughts.

Leydig’s third stop with the Stanley Cup — after first taking a motorboat ride on the Chesapeake Bay then visiting by the Naval Academy — was the makeshift office of Capital Gazette.

Leydig and his entourage brought the Stanley Cup to the temporary Capital Gazette office in Annapolis around 8:30 on Tuesday morning. Staff members, including five reporters that survived last Thursday’s attack, spent about 45 minutes taking photos with the legendary piece of hardware.

“My heart goes out to the families of those who were lost and to all the employees of Capital Gazette that have to find a way to move on from this terrible tragedy,” Leydig said.

Ice chips

The Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team have named a former NHL player from Saskatchewan — Nathan Oystrick — as its new coach.

Oystrick says he’s looking forward to leading the team while never forgetting the tragic circumstances that brought him to the role. The Broncos’ team bus collided with a semi-truck at a rural Saskatchewan intersection in April, killing 16 people and injuring 13. Head coach Darcy Haugan died in the crash.

... The Maple Leafs dealt feisty forward Matt Martin to the New York Islanders, who drafted him in 2008. The Leafs get minor-league goalie Eamon McAdam in the deal.

... The Coyotes have brought back Brad Richardson, signing the center to a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

... Left wing Remi Elie signed a $735,000 contract to stay with the Stars, while the Bruins re-signed forward Sean Kuraly to a three-year deal.

Associated Press contributed.