Much has been made in the last 36-hours about Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig removing his nameplate from his locker immediately after the game-seven loss to the Flyers and declining to meet with reporters.
Well, from the "tempest in a teapot" file, we have this explanation from the man, himself, courtesy of Tarik El-Bashir in the Capital Insider...
First, Kolzig said he doesn't want to give any interviews for a few days as he collects his thoughts. He said he obviously has some decisions to make and will talk soon.
Second, he also said he didn't remove his nameplate from his locker stall at Verizon Center out of anger. He acknowledged that the Caps' Game 7 loss to Philly could "possibly" have been his last game in Washington, so he wanted to take the nameplate as a memento. He plans to frame it with a jersey.
"It had nothing to do with not playing or pouting," Kolzig said in the message. "I was real proud of the way the guys played. I thought there was going to be destiny with the way the last two weeks went. So I was probably as disappointed as anybody."
This isn't even a "let's give him the benefit of the doubt" issue. Kolzig has been seemed to us nothing other than a stand-up guy -- in the community, on the ice, and for himself -- ever since he arrived in Washington. Why anyone would think differently is puzzling, even in the context of his de-facto demotion over the last several weeks of the season.
As Kolzig noted, he has some decisions to make, among them possibly including: whether to come back for another season, whether to do it in Washington or another city, whether to accept a diminshed role as his career enters a different phase.
He's earned an opportunity to do just that, and we don't suppose he's going to string the club out in a Brett Favre-ish manner in making those decisions. Whatever he decides, his body of work in Washington -- as a player, as a representative of his sport, and as a member of the community -- stands among the greatest in Washington sports history.
We're happy to have been here to enjoy his work and hope he still has some hockey left in him -- we'd like to think it being here -- to earn that Cup.