- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

WHY NO OLIE? — The Caps on Tuesday released the names of six skaters who will serve as alternate captains this season, replacing traded Steve Konowalchuk. With one-third of the roster wearing a letter at one time or another, the question has arisen why goalie Olie Kolzig, currently the longest serving Cap, isn’t sporting a leadership designation on his sweater.

Because NHL rule 14(d) makes it clear that goalies (and coaches and managers) aren’t eligible. A better question is why that rule exists, but nobody seems to be able to answer with authority.

Goalies were eligible to wear letters on their jerseys until shortly after World War II, when the practice was banned. It is thought the last goalie to serve as captain was Bill Durnan with Montreal in the 1940s.

As it stands now, goalies are not allowed to cross the red line without drawing a penalty, which would prevent a goalie captain from skating the length of the ice to talk to a referee. It would seem there has to be more to it than that but no one is sure.

Nonetheless, Kolzig has never hidden his feelings in the dressing room and has been part of the team conscience for years, with or without a letter.

DEFENDER DEMOTED — Josef Boumedienne has been re-assigned to the Caps’ American Hockey League affiliate in Portland, Maine, leaving the Caps with the minimum of six defensemen. The demotion opens a roster spot, igniting speculation that the team is on the verge of acquiring a defenseman. There was no official comment.

Boumedienne played in three of eight games, was pointless and minus-3 defensively. It had been hoped he would turn into another Calle Johansson but apparently one of the few things the two have in common is country of origin, Sweden.

With Nolan Yonkman hurt and J.F. Fortin in need of conditioning, Rick Barry was mentioned as the most probable recall candidate.

Dave Fay

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