To Our Sunshine Boy
There are no words to express how heartbroken I am. The world isn’t fair. None of this is fair. There was no way to protect everyone we loved, and in the world’s cruelest act yet, you suffered the consequences. You didn’t deserve this. You didn’t deserve anything that happened to you from the trade deadline on. You deserve so much more. You deserved to be appreciated by the Capitals and the coaching staff and to be a top-4 defenseman, but you were ripped away from us. And now we’re in shambles without you. I honestly don’t know how we’re going to cope (spoiler alert: we won’t).
In your years here, you were absolutely one of the best people to watch. You don’t go anywhere without brightening everyone’s day. You radiate sunshine. So smiley, so pure, so happy.
You have such a kind heart. You care a lot, you’re hilarious, and every time I see you, no matter what you’re doing, you look like you’re having the time of your life.
Whether you’re at casino night,
playing video games,
or playing your heart out on the ice,
you are the guy out there having the most fun. I love your energy and enthusiasm. We all do. You make being a fan of the Capitals and hockey much more fun.
And I say from the bottom of my heart, that you deserved so much better from us. You may have been the player most overlooked within our organization. Your defense is so good and so electric, and yet you were always the one getting sat over veterans who just couldn’t keep up. You deserved more. But I want to tell you that even if the organization didn’t respect you as much as it should have, we sure did. Everyone I know absolutely loves you and believes you should have been treated better. I mention Nate Schmidt and their eyes light up. You are so, so loved, Sunshine. You’re so loved that your shirts at Kettler are sold out and I couldn’t buy one. You have the fans behind your back.
So I guess this is goodbye. I can hope beyond hope that somehow the trading gods will take pity on us and bring you back to us, but I’ve never been that lucky. So here’s to you, Schmidty. Here’s to your smiles, your laughs, your jokes, your warmth, your friendship with Chorns and your friendship with Holts, and your everything. I really don’t want this to be goodbye. It’s taking everything I have to write this, but I think it needs to be done. I’d say this is me letting you go, but it’s not. I’m going to follow you relentlessly wherever you go, and I will buy a shirt of yours from wherever you land. And when that team comes to the Verizon Center, I will drop everything I’m doing to come and see you. Because you mean so much to me and to this team. Of all the recent losses, like Mike Green, Joel Ward, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich, and Michael Latta, this one stings the most. We’re going to miss you so, so much. But most of all, I want you to be happy and to play every single game. If you can do that and be happy, I might just be able to get by.
Thanks for everything, Sunshine.