Although he was born near Seattle and loves Kraken coach Dave Huxtol, striker TJ O’Shea doesn’t really want to leave Washington, DC.
A native of Everett, Washington, the 34-year-old skater wants protection in a draft expansion scheduled for July 21, with the deal running for four years and an average of $5.75 million per campaign. Developing in the US capital since 2015-2016, the veteran won the Stanley Cup there in the spring of 2018 and wants to end his career there, a desire he has unequivocally expressed.
“I’m a capital,” he told local NBC Sports last weekend, as reported by NHL.com. This is where I would like to be and stay.”
As he said in May: “My allegiances are here.” I have family there, you know, but Washington City is where I want to be […] With my friends and relatives. My kids are growing up in local schools and this is where I love to play hockey.”
However, he did not hesitate to praise Haxtool, his head coach at the University of North Dakota from 2005 to 2008.
“I think Huck does a great job building a winning culture and tradition. I can’t think of a better man to make a list in building this world of success. He’s so good at uniting his teams and getting his guys to play for each other.”
O’Shea now says he has not spoken to executives at Capitals since the club’s color holders emptied their coffers on May 23. However, he hopes he has done enough to stay within the organization’s plans.
“I have great confidence that I have proven that I can survive and I hope they will see that I have a high enough value to protect me,” he said. On the other hand, this replay is always difficult, because you lose teammates every time. This is the hardest part of saying good luck to someone.”
Last season, Auchi scored 22 goals and 21 assists for 43 points in 53 games.