Have you ever caught yourself thinking of an old Caps' favorite and wondered, what ever happened to that guy?
Hockey, like all professional sports, is a tough business. Team legends can spend many years in one city but find themselves looking for a new team near the end of their careers. Other players are brought in to bolster the squad but are let go through free agency or trades just as they began to establish themselves in Washington.
The hockey world, however, does not end when players leave D.C. Here’s a look at some former Caps and how they fared after their time in Washington.
Played for Caps: 1993 - 1999
Stats with Caps: 312 GP, 62 G, 172 A, 234 Pts, Postseason: 44 GP, 13 G, 28 A, 41 Pts
Juneau came to Washington in a trade that sent Al Iafrate to Boston. Though he was never able to duplicate the gaudy numbers he enjoyed as a Bruin, Juneau was an important cog in the Caps’ offense for several years.
Of course he is best remembered by Caps fans for scoring the most important goal in franchise history. In 1998, Juneau netted the OT goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals sending the Caps to their first and to date only Stanley Cup Finals.
Unfortunately, the Caps did not enjoy the same success the following season and chose to trade away Juneau’s expiring contract and a third-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for Alexei Tezikov and a fourth-round pick.
The trade worked out well for Juneau as he again found himself in the Stanley Cup Finals, but again, he was on the losing side as the Sabres lost to Dallas in six games.
Juneau made three more stops in his NHL career, playing in Ottawa for one season, Phoenix for one season and Montreal for three and retired following the 2003-04 season.
As a literal rocket scientist (he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnhic Institute with a degree in aeronautical engineering), Juneau was a bit more prepared for life after hockey than most retiring athletes and became a partner in the engineering company Harfan Technologies.
Juneau now lives in Kuujjuaq, Quebec, a fairly remote village in the Nunavik province of Quebec. There he runs a youth hockey program for Inuit youth to encourage both athletic and academic progress. For his efforts, Juneau was named the 2007 Personality of the Year by La Presse and Radio-Canada.
It’s not a Stanley Cup, but that’s still pretty impressive.