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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Princeton Alum Named Capitals Captain

Jeff Halpern, onetime forward on Princeton's ice hockey team, was named the 12th captain of the Washington Capitals. Thanks to Eric McErlain of Off-Wing Opinion for his post on the subject. As Eric points out, Halpern's Caps could have a tough go of it this year, so the team will need all the leadership skills he can muster.

For those of you who haven't tuned into Off-Wing Opinion, it's an excellent sports blog, and perhaps the best ice hockey blog out there.

It's not usual for a Princeton alum to captain an NHL team. A Harvard alum led the union (Bob Goodenow), and he did a good job about 10 years ago but not so good a job this past year. Ken Dryden, the Canadian MP who once upon a time starred in goal for the Canadiens (when the Canadiens ruled the ice hockey world), went to Cornell, and there have been plenty of NHL players from the ice-hockey playing Ivies (which means not Columbia or Penn). What's more unusual is that until the coaching tenure of Don "Toot" Cahoon, who coached Halpern, Tiger hockey fans didn't have all that much to cheer about at all. Princeton is the southernmost collegiate ice hockey school, which puts the Tigers at a recruiting disadvantage. It has a nice, cozy arena (Baker Rink), and college hockey is fun to watch, but Halpern's journey is proof that if you have talent and are willing to work hard, you can achieve a lot.

Congratulations to Jeff Halpern for this honor, and good luck to the Washington Capitals this season.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

One small correction regarding hockey geography. The University of Alabama - Huntsville has a Division I hockey program.

There's a story behind it, as you might guess, but I don't remeber the details.

Ohio State and the Colorado schools are marginally south too.

Halpern is a gritty player, the kind whose teammates always appreciate his effort. I'm sure he's deserving of the honor.


8:47 AM  

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