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Good-bye, Olie May 13, 2008

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Mr. Kolzig:

I’m sad tonight. Sad at the passing of an era; sad at the cruelness of time; sad that I won’t see you raise the Cup with the Capitals; and, above all, sad that it ended this way.

I had hoped against hope that all that you wanted was time to reflect, and that I’d see #37 in net for the Caps at some point next year. Alas, unless Cristobal Huet leaves–which would be one of the biggest offseason gaffes in team history–then the only way I’ll ever see you again at Verizon Center would be in the visiting net. And while that is the nature of the beast, that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. That doesn’t make it any less cruel. And that doesn’t make it any easier to take.

And it is a cruel game, isn’t it? Hockey has been called a mix of grace and disgrace, which is as apt a description as any. The grace of a breakaway, the disgrace of a fight; the grace of a textbook tic-tac-toe, the disgrace of a haul-down from behind; the grace of winning the most famous trophy in sports, and the disgrace of leaving the only NHL team you’ve ever played for. Yes, your departure is a disgrace in my eyes. And yet, sometimes a fight is needed to restore order. Sometimes, a haul-down is the only way to stop an easy goal. And sometimes, turning the page and moving on is the only way to continue playing the game you love.

Yet still I grieve, for all that might have been.

I’ve read your comments in various places, and since you say you need regular play for athletic reasons, I will believe you. The only alternative to that would be to believe you’re lying through your teeth as an excuse to leave the only NHL team you’ve ever played for, and that should be nonsensical on its face. If you need regular play to stay ready, and you can’t get it here, then you have no choice. I’m sure this was a harder decision for you than you’ll ever admit in public, and if you can live with this, so can I. Neither of us has a choice at this point, do we?

I’m not sure if you’ll be able to get starter minutes on a team that will be a contender next year. If you can find a team that will take you, and that you’re willing to play for, then best of luck, and Godspeed. I’m not the only person who will think of a you as a Washington Capital, first and always. Wherever you go, I will still pull for you. And I will proudly cheer you when you come back to your hockey home to raise #37 to the rafters forever.

Just don’t expect any grace from me if you’re in the net against the Caps. It’s not personal; it’s just the nature of this wonderful, cruel, inspiring, heartless game. I hope you understand.

And now, I guess it’s time for me to say farewell. May the road rise up to meet you; may the wind be always at your back; may the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields; and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

So long, Godzilla. It’s been a privilege. I wish you and yours the boundless blessings of God, for as long as you all shall live. Now, and for all time, I am

Yours in Spirit,
Capital Spirit



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