YVON LABRE Retired Nov. 7, 1981
Yvon Labre's contributions to the success of the Washington Capitals extended well beyond the boundaries ot the rink. A member of the inaugural 1974-75 Capitals, Labre was a rugged defenseman whose solid, physical play paced the early expansion team. Labre is notably remembered for scoring the Capitals' first goal at the Capital Centre Oct. 15, 1974, against Los Angeles. He finished fourth in team scoring during Washington's first season and recorded more than 20 assists in a season twice in his career. From 1976-78 Labre wore the "C" on his sweater, utilizing his leadership qualities to the fullest extent.
After retiring in 1981 Labre become an assistant coach before stepping into the role of color commentator for the team's broadcasts. In 1983 Labre become the Capitals' director of community relations and continued in that position until the start of the 1996-97 season, when he began a four-year stint as director of special programs.
From the moment he took the ice in a Capitals uniform to his commitment in community programs and youth hockey, no one served as a better ambassador for hockey in the Washington area than Labre.
|ROD LANGWAY Retired Nov. 26, 1997
Known to many Capitals fans as the "Secretary of Defense", Rod Langway anchored the Washington defense for 11 seasons and more than 700 games. Dealt by Montreal to Washington in one of the biggest trades in franchise history, Langway brought instant respectability to the Capitals' squad. His arrival and dominating physical presence helped lead Washington to its first postseason appearance in 1982-83.
The taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs was only a sign of things to come. The Capitals made the playoffs during every seasonof Langway's tenure. Recognized as the best in the business, Langway captured back-to-back Norris Trophy honors in 1982-83 and 1983-84. The team recorded more than 100 points in three consecutive seasons, including a record 107-point, 50-win year in 1985-86.
A strong leader in the locker room, Langway captained the team for more than a decade and was truly one of hockey's all-time greats, evidenced by his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.
|DALE HUNTER Retired March 11, 2000
Referred to by many as the "heart and soul" of the Washington Capitals, Dale Hunter was well respected for his dedication to the game. His 19 season in the NHL, 1,407 regular-season games and 186 playoff games serve as testimony to that dedication. At the time of his retirement following the 1998-99 season, only seven players in NHL history had appeared in more total games.
Hunter left the game having firmly etched his name in the Capitals' record book. In regular-season play he finished his career ranked first in penalty minutes (2,003), second in games played (872), tied for second in power-play goals (72), third in assists (375), third in points (556), tied for fifth in game-winning goals (29) and tied for eighth in goals (181). He retired leading the franchise in virtually every category: games played (100), goals (25), assists (47), points (72), power-play goals (11) and penalty minutes (372).
Perhaps Hunter summed up his contributions best at his retirement ceremony March 11, 2000, when he said, "I'm not a Wayne Gretzky. I just tried to give my all every night. That work ethic is what the Caps have always been about."
|MIKE GARTNER Retired Dec. 28, 2008
Gartner spent the first 10 seasons of his 19-year NHL career with the Capitals after Washington selected him in the first round, fourth overall, in the 1979 NHL Draft. He led the team in goals five times and in points four times, scoring at least 35 goals in each of his first nine years in Washington (he had 26 goals when he was traded 56 games into 1988-89, his 10th season). He left the team as its all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, points, power-play goals and game-winning goals.
Gartner was a member of the first six Capital playoff teams, leading four of those teams in playoff scoring. He recorded 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 47 playoff games for the club and at the time of his trade was Washingotn's all-time leading playoff scorer
Gartner played 1,432 games with five teams in his career, recording 708 goals (sixth in HFL history) and 627 assists for 1,335 points. Inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001, Gartner holds the NHL record for the most 30-goal seasons (17) and shares the record for most consecutive 30-goal seasons (15). He played in seven NHL All-Star Games and three times won the NHL's fastest skater competition at the NHL All-Star Game.