Nic Dowd was a frequent guest with Grant & Danny last season, and he was one of the first Caps hits of the season this year when he joined The Junkies live at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Day 1 of camp – the end of ‘the longest but quickest summer of my life.’
“It’s the longest summer really any of us have had in a long time,” he said, “but very quick. An incredible summer, but very quick.”
Dowd has an interesting story of a journey to the NHL, the son of British-born parents who grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, anything BUT a hockey hotbed, and eventually Indiana – but his family is definitely a hockey family through and through.
“I was highly fortunate, probably like anybody in the NHL, to have my parents get up early in the morning to get me going,” Dowd said. “I had two older brothers that played, and they did it for all of us. I didn’t play football because I would’ve been squashed, but there’s actually a big youth community down in Huntsville – and when I got to be a teenager, I had to go somewhere else to get to a higher level, but until then, it was great for me…although we’d show up to tournaments and play teams from the Northeast or Minnesota or Canada, and there’d be some chirping about us being from the Southeast and probably having like one ice rink.”
He plays in one of the biggest in the world now, but he’ll be doing so for a new head coach in a new system, which he’s looking forward to learning.
“Just having some conversations over the summer, it’s going to be a fresh outlook, and I think guys are excited about that,” Dowd said, “and I think there’s going to be a lot of energy. The staff is very focused on the individual, and how we can promote each guy’s game to make us better, and there will be a lot of system changes that will allow guys to play a certain style, but do it in their own way. Carbs came from a team that had a super-high octane offense, and we have a lot of high-octane players, so I think we’ll be able to expand on that creativity he’ll allow us to play with.”
It’s a bit of a different focus from the previous staff led by Peter Laviolette, so expect a difference in playing style – maybe even for Dowd, who had core muscle surgery
“We’re still getting back,” Dowd said. “It’s challenging, because as you take all these bumps and bruises, you’re getting older, and there’s a bounce-back difference from surgery at 33 than at 25. But, I think the good thing for me with us missing the playoffs is I got it taken care of sooner. I’m still getting to where I want to be, and it’s been a long recovery, but I feel really good and I’m a full go.”
Take a listen to Dowd’s entire segment, which includes celebrity sighting stories from his time in L.A., lost teeth, and more, above!