Abe Polin 1923-2009
Photo from Caps.com
Long time readers of this blog know that like most long suffering Caps fans, we didn't hold Abe Pollin in too high of a regard. However his passing at the age of 85 earlier today we here at Bleatings From a Caps Nut believe that we should pay respects to the man for the things that he most certainly deserves credit for. We'll let the others show their backsides and take potshots at the man who could credibly be called the father of the Washington Capitals. We however have a longstanding policy of giving credit where credit it due and that is what we aim to do with this post.
And if there is one thing Abe Pollin deserves credit for, it is for bringing the Washington Capitals to life in 1974. We feel as though we should mention that before our Grandfather became a builder like Mr. Pollin, our Grandfather briefly did work for him. While our Grandfather never reached the heights in construction that Mr. Pollin did; Mr. Pollin put a fair amount of that fortune he earned on the line to build not one, but two arenas in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area in addition to owning the Bullets and Capitals. He brought the Bullets down from Baltimore and beat the odds in winning an NHL expansion franchise for Washington, D.C.
But Abe Pollin doesn't just deserve credit for bringing the NHL to Washington, D.C. and building two homes for the team out of his own pocket, he also deserves credit for keeping the Washington Capitals here when many other owners would have folded the team or let it move to another city. Abe Pollin did not have to launch the "Save the Caps" campaign in 1982. But because he did, he is just very much the reason why we are now able to enjoy enjoy Alexander Ovechkin and "Rock the Red" at the Verizon Center. Without Abe Pollin there would not have been Dale Hunter beating Ron Hextall in 1988. Olie Kolzig couldn't have backstopped the Caps to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998. And of course, we would have to blog about something else these days.
Anybody who has listened to any of the tributes to Abe Pollin this evening and in the coming days will certainly hear about the great generosity of the man. You will hear about how all the money that he spread around to various causes and charities and how he was dedicated to making Washington, D.C. a better place for everybody. But for us, we thank the man and will keep him in our prayers for the memories that helped create and the ones yet to come. May he Rest in Peace.