By: Ben Raby
On this Fourth of July weekend, CSNWashington.com has compiled the Capitals’ all-time ‘All-American’ starting lineup.
In Part One, we looked at the best American goalie and the best U.S. defensemen to play for Washington. In Part Two, we look at the top American forwards in Capitals history.
FORWARD: BOBBY CARPENTER (1981-87 & 1992-93)
The Capitals made U.S. hockey history in 1981 when they selected Bobby Carpenter in the first-round (third overall) of the NHL Draft. Prior to Carpenter's selection, no American had ever been drafted in Round 1.
Carpenter was also the first American to make the jump from high school straight to the NHL and the first American to record 50 goals in a single season. Carpenter led the Capitals with 53 goals and 95 points during the 1984-85 season. Carpenter also represented the Capitals at the NHL All-Star Game in 1985.
Carpenter represented the U.S. at the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup tournaments and at the 1987 World Hockey Championships. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
FORWARD: JEFF HALPERN (1999-2006 & 2011-12)
Jeff Halpern realized a childhood dream in 1999 when the Potomac, MD, native signed with the Capitals as a college free agent.
The Princeton alum spent the first six years of his NHL career with the Capitals before signing with the Dallas Stars as a free agent in 2006. Halpern would eventually return to the Capitals in 2011.
Halpern led the Capitals in scoring during the 2003-04 season when he finished with career-highs of 19 goals and 46 points he captained the team during the 2005-06 season.
Halpern has represented the U.S. at the 2004 World Cup and at four World Hockey Championships. Halpern captained the Americans at the 2008 WHC in Canada.
FORWARD: DAVE CHRISTIAN (1983-89)
Dave Christian spent parts of seven seasons with the Capitals and ranks 12th all-time in franchise scoring, but the Minnesota native is best remembered for his role with the 1980 'Miracle on Ice' U.S. Olympic team.
Christian also represented the U.S. at the 1981, 1984 and 1991 Canada Cup tournaments and at the 1989 World Hockey Championships.
Christian was traded to the Capitals by the Winnipeg Jets in 1983, and he led Washington in scoring during the 1985-86 season with career-highs of 41 goals and 83 points.
He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
HEAD COACH: RON WILSON (1997-2002)
The only coach to guide the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Finals, Wilson spent five years with the Capitals and won two Southeast Division titles (1999-2000 and 2000-01).
The Canadian-born Wilson has dual citizenship and was behind the U.S. bench when the Americans won the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup. Wilson also coached the U.S. Men's Olympic team in 1998 and 2010.