Lew Strudler credits the late George Michael and Ken Beatrice for much of the success of the Caps 1982 “Save the Washington Capitals” 30-day campaign~
“If it wasn’t for the two of them at that particular period of time, who every night got on the air for that 30 days. They came out to The Capital Center at that point, helped us when we were doing all kinds of special events to get the city involved, especially the corporate city…”
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town, and I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a man I’ve known for many, many years. A big part of WMAL incidentally, never as an employee, but as an in-house important friend: Lew Strudler, Vice President of Global Partnership for Monumental Sports. Lew, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when somebody told me that. That’s your title.
Lew Strudler: That is my title.
Andy Ockershausen: It’s incredible, and I go back to you when you were working for the Wizards. You could’ve even been a player. I don’t remember, and that was in the early ’80s.
Lew Strudler: In ’82, I go back. It wasn’t even the Wizards, it was the Bullets and the Washington Capitals when I started in July of 1982 with Abe Pollin.
Andy Ockershausen: You know the Washington Capitals at one time was a basketball team, you knew that of course.
Lew Strudler: That goes ways back even before that. That is correct.
Andy Ockershausen: I mean, a very good basketball team.
Lew Strudler: That’s when you were a young boy, absolutely.
Andy Ockershausen: At Uline Arena, I remember it all, Lew, but you’re a big part of Our Town because of your association with Abe and with the organization for many years in my position at WMAL. You were the image of talking to people with Abe. Talk to Lew and then you’ll get to Abe, and that was very important to our growth at WMAL.
Lew Strudler Signed on with Abe Pollin and Company to Create with 30-Day Campaign to Save the Washington Capitals
Lew Strudler: I started with Abe and he called me in the summer of ’82 and was really distressed about the financial state of the Washington Capitals, and at that point in time, wasn’t sure he was going to keep the team in Washington. And he called me to come onboard and put together a campaign called Save the Washington Capitals.
Andy Ockershausen: Who were you with then, Lew?
How Lew Strudler Met Abe and Irene Pollin
Lew Strudler: I was working at the National Mental Health Association. I was their Director, but I was really staffing Rosalynn Carter in terms of her doing special events, fundraising events around the Country as First Lady, and Abe and Irene Pollin were on the Board of Directors of the National Mental Health Association, and that’s how I got to meet them for a good period of time.
Andy Ockershausen: You know, when we had Irene here as one of our first guests on Our Town, because she represented Abe and the city so well as a big part of us, but you bring up names, Lew, that were so important, but where did you start? Did you start in Hyattsville? You didn’t start life-
Lew Strudler: I was in Landover. I was working in DC. I grew up in New York City.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s what I thought, you were a New Yorker.
Lew Strudler: I was a New Yorker and I came down here, was working at the Mental Health Association for about four years, and then got a phone call one night from Abe Pollin to come and have lunch with him on a Wednesday, and he started talking to me about the state of the Capitals and how he was either going to sell them, disband them, or give it a 30-day effort to try to make it work. And he asked me at that point in time would I come onboard totally outside the world of sports, even though I loved all sports, if I’d come on-
Andy Ockershausen: But you were not in sports at the time.
Lew Strudler: No. I was with the Association and really putting on dinners and special events for the First Lady.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, and I know the great story, but the First Lady was involved, we had some involvement with her through the Leukemia Association. I think somebody in her family died of Leukemia, and that’s how we got involved with her at the White House, because I was invited to meet her and so forth, but that’s away from the subject. That was the WMAL days when everything happening in Our Town was on WMAL, was part of-
Relationship with WMAL and The Board of Trade Instrumental to Success of Campaign
Lew Strudler: No question, Abe was very, very close to WMAL. And we would come down quite a bit. I’d come down with Harden and Weaver, and come on with Ken Beatrice with Bullets players, with Capitals players.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh yeah, you were great.
Lew Strudler: As often as possible.
Andy Ockershausen: It made so much sense because you were doing us a great service, and we think we were helping you. Abe came before our group at the Board of Trade, and came to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trade with Save the Capitals, asking for help, and I think they had something going at the Mayflower. I was there when Joe Albritton, who was running the Star and the bank and all that said, “I’ll be delighted to donate a lot of money, but I don’t want to own a team.”
Lew Strudler: And Abe had spoken, I was with him at that date. I helped put on that event with the Board of Trade.
Andy Ockershausen: It was the Mayflower, wasn’t it?
Lew Strudler: Yes, it was, and I remember it quite well, but we did everything for 30 days, and Ken was so instrumental in those days. He was on the air every night, really talking to fans about getting involved.
Andy Ockershausen: Pump, pump, pump. He did a great job of pumping up something that needed it. Washington grew up without hockey. You know that. We were not a hockey town, and Ken was a fierce hockey fan. As I tell everybody, he never said the word ‘goalie’. They were always net minders.
George Michael and Ken Beatrice Helped Get the City Involved
Lew Strudler: Well, you had George Michael and Ken Beatrice. If it wasn’t for the two of them at that particular period of time, who every night got on the air for that 30 days. They came out to the Capital center at that point, helped us when we were doing all kinds of special events to get the city involved, especially the corporate city, and that was that Board of Trade event that you mentioned. But Abe really, he was at the ends wit, and at that point in time he brought in Dick Patrick. He made two great moves. He brought in Dick Patrick, and Dick Patrick brought in David Poile as general manager. And those two things really turned it around. Just having Dick Patrick, and at that point we played in the Patrick division that was named after his grandfather. His father and grandfather were both-
Andy Ockershausen: He was hockey royalty.
Lew Strudler: Still is. Still is.
Andy Ockershausen: Isn’t that amazing? I know that story.
How Hockey Royalty and Strategic Trades Turned Caps into a Playoff Team
Lew Strudler: Yeah. Craig, Patrick, and Dick’s father, Lynn and Muzz. It was just a tremendous family, and Dick brought stability, hired David Poile, and he made the trade of all trades that still goes down 20 days after we started this campaign and ended. It was a 30 day campaign. He made the trade. He traded the two most popular Caps players, Ryan Walter and Rick Green, and traded them to Montreal for what became Hall of Famer Rod Langway. Rod Langway and Brian Engblom and Doug Jarvis and our current TV announcer, Craig Laughlin.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh my God. All of that.
Lew Strudler: All of that, and that was it. That was a month after the Save the Caps, and Rod Langway, really to this day, is still the voice.
Andy Ockershausen: He’s the image of Caps, and growing up here I knew him quite well. We put him in the Hall of Fame. I remember that vividly – Rod.
Lew Strudler: No question, and deservedly so. And still every single Caps game he’s there as our ambassador. So everything goes back to that Save the Caps thing, but what a run. From almost losing the team in 1982 to Stanley Cup Champions.
Andy Ockershausen: Well we made it in a population that was unfamiliar with the sport. We still don’t understand it, but it’s happened. And that really put it in everybody eyes where Save the Caps was very important to Our Town. You were a big part of that. I know.
Lew Strudler: Yeah, I put together the campaign. I used to remember. I would go out to any board of trade, any meeting, et cetera, and again, we were a southern city. There wasn’t anything further in the south than Washington Capitals, and I used to say, the south, the only thing they knew about ice was that you put bourbon on it. And it wasn’t that you played hockey on it.
Andy Ockershausen: And make a Mint Julep.
Lew Strudler: And again, what happened was, in those early years, the fans who came out were the fans who had moved here from New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh. That grew because they weren’t a good team, Pittsburgh in the 80’s, in the early 80’s when I started there in the early 80’s. But you’d come out to a Caps game against the Rangers or the Flyers, and you would see half the crowd, if not more, were rooting for that team. And we were not a good team. Abe was faced with … Abe’s ownership started in ’74 to ’82, and the Capitals had never made the playoffs.
Lew Strudler: So for the first eight years they were really a team that didn’t compete at the highest level, and the fan base was getting a little tired. And then all of a sudden Dick Patrick and David Poile come in, and Bryan Murray as a coach. And Bryan, a good friend of mine who passed away two years ago, really turned that team around in 1982, and they made the playoffs, I think, for the next 16 years.
Andy Ockershausen: And that is a great, great story about Our Town. I’m so glad to talk to you Lew, because you’ve been a part of all of it, and we’re gonna right back on Our Town with Lew Strudler.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town with Andy Ockershausen, brought to you by Best Bark Communications.
Andy Ockershausen: This is Andy Ockershausen. This is Our Town, and a great conversation with Lew Strudler, vice president of global partnership for Monumental Sport, which is a huge title, but when I knew Lew in the old days when I grew up at WMAL and he grew up with the Caps with Abe, I thought Lew was in charge of everything because I never, ever recall ever asking you for anything or Abe y’all didn’t deliver. And that made WMAL very, very happy.
Monumental Sports and Entertainment – Global Partnerships
Lew Strudler: Well, that was Abe’s style. I mean, Abe was so in and around the DC area, and we were a fairly small organization. We were one organization. We were the Bullets and the Capitals. I mean, now we’ve just become such a global area. That’s why Global Partnerships. So yeah, we’ve got five teams now who are playing in the building itself. I mean, I say to people at that point in time we were Bullets and Caps out in Landover. Now we’re the Capitals, the Wizards, the Mystics. We have an indoor team in football, the Valor, who won their championship this past year.
Andy Ockershausen: That’s incredible.
Lew Strudler: We have an NBA 2K team, and of course, we still house Georgetown as one of our tenants. And they play all of their teams. So we now have over 220 events in the Capital One Arena.
Andy Ockershausen: I mean, just what you have done. I don’t know how you keep track of it. You’ve grown so big, but Abe was very important to Our Town and the growth. What he developed, what happened, and I remember when they were dedicating that dirt. They were digging there, and they were gonna put a stadium there. Everybody was wondering how is this going to effect downtown, never realizing the explosion would take place and how it has made Our Town. Abe Pollin did that.
Abe Pollin Took a Chance on Downtown – After Deal Fell Through with City Invested His Own Money
Lew Strudler: Abe did it. Put it up with his own money.
Andy Ockershausen: His own dough. I know that.
Lew Strudler: His own dough. This was not … Originally, he had been approached by DC to put up the arena for him, and then that didn’t go through. And Abe was given the opportunity to get out of the deal, and he said no, he’ll put it up with his own dollars and in an area that really, really had just been paralyzed after the assassination of Martin Luther King. And when that area really had tremendous problems and so many of the buildings had been burnt down-
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, it was awful.
Lew Strudler: People really were not going there. People said to Abe, “Why?” And Abe, he could have, before he announced he was moving there, bought as many buildings around that area as possible for pennies on the dollar, and he never bought a single one. He just was all about growing the area and giving something back to DC, and he never to this day, if he was still alive, would imagine what that area has become.
Andy Ockershausen: It boggles. I know Irene was talking about that, and she was a major part of the whole thing with Abe. And being at that dedication, we were all scratching our heads. What’s gonna happen to downtown? The only thing left there was the Hecht Company, and they were going under. Abe saw it as a commitment to the city.
On Working with Abe and Irene Pollin
Lew Strudler: He was committed to doing that from the start, and so was Irene. Irene is the one everybody used to say, “Who is responsible, Lew, for you coming on board?” It was Irene. Irene kept saying, “Abe, I want you to talk to Lew about joining the team.” So I owe everything really to Irene saying come on board, et cetera. When I sit here in this seat and I’m in this building, I think of the number of times … Abe and Irene only live a few blocks-
Andy Ockershausen: Right around the corner.
Lew Strudler: Right around here. Abe would be here at six o’clock in the morning, seven o’clock in the morning. Any time that Harden and Weaver would ask, and again, especially with all he did in the community charity wise. He would always be here talking about the charities and talking, but I remember one time in the summer, he was at home. And he heard about the fact that there was a camp program in DC that kids were not having funds to go to camp, and they were gonna have to shut it down. And Abe called, and he called and said, “I’m going over to MAL right now. I’m getting on the air and saying that I am going to put together the whole program and support the whole program.” And that was what Abe’s legacy was, and Irene, still to this day.
Andy Ockershausen: They stand behind everything and never asked them for a favor they didn’t deliver. I know that was a Boys and Girls Club camp at the time, was going south because people wouldn’t support it, but you had a great opportunity to live part of history in sports in Our Town. So much you have to contribute Lew, and all of a sudden I get this title. And I said, “I thought Lew was in charge of everything, and now I guess he’s in charge of the Global Partnership.”
On Working with Ted Leonsis
Lew Strudler: Well I’m a part of it. I’m a part of the team. Again, when Ted Leonsis came on board and he came on with such fire to really invigorate and make the Monumental, make the entire aspect of the arena so great and made it an international operation.
Andy Ockershausen: But initially when he came on board, he came as a partner, right?
Lew Strudler: He came as a partner. He bought the Capitals from Abe, I think it was in 1999, and a very, very small partnership in the Bullets/Wizards, whatever it was at that point in time.
Andy Ockershausen: It was a money arrangement with them.
Lew Strudler: Ben, he just said, “Abe, it’s yours. You continue to run everything, et cetera.” And I think I believe it was just that he would have the right to purchase the rest-
Andy Ockershausen: That was a contract. Right.
Lew Strudler: Yes, when Abe either wanted to or passed away, but what Ted has done in this city and what he has done to build up Monumental and what he has done to put dollars into the Arena, the Capitals, the Wizards. All he wants to do is win and give the fans the most tremendous experience possible by coming out.
Andy Ockershausen: He’s delivered probably more than he realized how great that was going to be. It was incredible. The electricity it added to Our Town, and I wanna talk about that. I wanna talk about you and what happened. I’m just so excited about this year and this future, and you’re right. Ted Leonsis did a hell of a job. This is Our Town. This is Andy Ockershausen with Lew Strudler.
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Announcer: You’re listening to Our Town with Andy Ockershausen.
Andy Ockershausen: Hi, this is Andy Ockershausen and Our Town talking to Lew Strudler about what has happened to Our Town because of what Abe Pollin’s imprint was for downtown, and now it’s become, Washington’s become a world wide phenomenon, I think, in the sports world because of what Abe did and what Ted followed up with. And Lew, you were a big part of all that.
Lew Strudler: Well, I played a part, starting back in ’82.
Andy Ockershausen: A big part, though.
Lew Strudler: Well thank you, Andy. That’s very complimentary, but I’m saying I give the credit to Abe of course.
Andy Ockershausen: Well you’ve got to, to the boss.
Monumental Sports and Entertainment and Its World Class Sponsors
Lew Strudler: And what Ted has done. Ted has taken that from just a being part of the city to being part of the world. I mean, we now, if you go into that Arena, you see world class companies who are sponsors. Companies like Etihad Airways. companies like Alibaba. We have a company, ORG, the largest can producer in China. These are companies from way, way far away from this area to say nothing of all of our own, and you take a look at Capital One who came in and said, “Wait a second. We want to be a major, major player. This is our home. We want to be a major player,” and took over the naming rights for the Arena.
Andy Ockershausen: That was great. Yeah because they’re a part of Our Town. They started here. They’re global now, but they’re part of Our Town. You told us a story about the Caps being the first international hockey league team to go to Russia.
The Washington Capitals Trip to Russia
Lew Strudler: We were. We played a part back in … our sixth or seventh year. We went over with the Calgary Flames to put on a four game series in Russia. We traveled throughout, and that was the Soviet Union we went to at that point. It was-
Andy Ockershausen: Third world, it was really.
Lew Strudler: It was Moscow. We went to Leningrad, which is now Saint Petersburg. We went to the Ukraine, and then we went to Riga, which was in Latvia. And we felt, when we were there, how that Country was changing and sure enough, about a year, year and a half afterwards, parts of it were overthrown. And it was led by Latvia, which was where we played the game in Riga. It was four unbelievable games, but we trained in the Soviet Union, which was very difficult. There was some cities that I remember we had to bring our own food to, and we had to bring our own water in Leningrad back at that time for the team.
Andy Ockershausen: The water wasn’t safe.
Lew Strudler: And you’re right, but we trained there. It was there, but it started to put the Capitals on the map in many, many ways. And it led, also at that point in time, to us being recognized there, and we bought a couple players who signed with the Capitals even back right after that time. Demetri Chrissos came over. Mikhail Tatarinov, some of the early Soviet players, and it’s led to … Look at this team right now with the great 8, with Alex Ovechkin being a star and a super star of the World.
Andy Ockershausen: Of the world? That’s incredible, but it all started because of Abe and bringing that team downtown and putting it on the map. And then Ted, of course, has taken it to unbelievable heights. And you were put of all that Lew. It wasn’t done in a vacuum. He had good people with him, and the whole operation has been first class. I would hope that this will begin to happen to the basketball team because the hockey team took a while to grow, but they did it. And like you said, this town can never, ever … The only thing that ever came close to it is win the Super Bowl.
The Ted Leonsis Effect
Lew Strudler: Ted will make sure that every one of his franchises … Look, this year the Valor, the football team won their championship. The Mystics were in the championship. They lost to Seattle, and I believe if it wasn’t for their star player, Elena Delle Donne, getting injured in that final series, that we had a good chance to win that-
Andy Ockershausen: She was going be a star.
Lew Strudler: Yeah, she’s a star, and of course, I believe we’ve picked up Dwight Howard this year for the Wizards. And he has not yet played. He was injured, and he should be back soon.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, he’s in rehab program.
Lew Strudler: And Wizards are gonna be a strong, strong team. Ted will not stop until this team has another championship with the Wizards, and that will happen. I am sure of that.
Andy Ockershausen: Well because, you’re committed to it, and it’s gonna show. I’m sure that basketball, in some ways, is easier to build than a hockey ’cause basketball, one or two people put you on the map. I mean, we’re fortunate now to have two great players in Wall and-
Lew Strudler: Bradley Beal.
Andy Ockershausen: Yeah, Bradley, but the icing on the cake is the big man. We all know that Lew, and that’s what he’s trying to do.
Lew Strudler: He will do it. You’ve got that. We’ve got a great starting five once we get Dwight back in the lineup, which hopefully will be soon, and I just think there’s great things on the horizon. But Ted is a visionary. He’s always been thought of as a visionary in everything he’s ever done in his life. He’s a visionary now, and he will take the franchises to greater heights than we ever thought of.
Andy Ockershausen: Well Lew, tell us about the experience. I read what he did, what Ted did, with the championship by going … He had almost everybody on the staff fly out to the first game. Is that correct?
All Monumental Sports’ Staff Attended a Caps Playoff Game in Vegas and Received a Stanley Cup Ring
Lew Strudler: He flew almost the entire staff to two games. He flew half the staff to game one that was played out in Vegas, and he flew the rest of the staff out to the second game played out in Vegas. And then to follow it up, when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup, he gave every employee and part-time employee a Stanley Cup Ring. I mean, it’s just unheard of that-
Andy Ockershausen: Owners don’t do that.
Lew Strudler: Yeah, just unannounced to everybody. He just had a letter sent out to everybody, part-time staff, full-time staff, and it wasn’t just the staff for the Washington Capitals. It was staff of Monumental.
Andy Ockershausen: Everybody.
Lew Strudler: Staff of the Wizards, people who worked in the building. He said every single person is going to get something. They’re going to get a Stanley Cup ring. And follow that up by obviously having sent everybody to Vegas on the trips. That’s just Ted. He’s a very, very warm, generous human being, and-
Andy Ockershausen: That will pay great dividends, believe me though.
Lew Strudler: It’s not that he just cares about the players, he cares so much about the fans, about their experience coming out of it. He’s always talking about how do you make the experience better? How do you make the Arena better? This summer he put in 50 million dollars to bring the Arena, which was in great shape, bring it up to really-
Andy Ockershausen: Higher than ever.
Lew Strudler: Yes. Yeah.
Andy Ockershausen: And while he’s learned that giving gets back in spades because what he has done for Our Town and continues to do. I would assume that all of these franchises are gonna get his attention sooner or later. He can’t do it all overnight. It takes time, but you’ve been a big part of that, Lew. To me, again, I said it before, you were the image, whether it’s good or bad, of that operation because you knew everybody. You got around, and I know he appreciates you to keep doing that. And that’s important. He’s got continuity, and I believe in that.
Employee Loyalty and Commitment to Providing Great Entertainment
Lew Strudler: Well, there’s so many people. I’ve been there look, since 1982, but if you look around that building, there are so many other people that have been there. You know them. You’ve known the people.
Andy Ockershausen: Absolutely.
Lew Strudler: Who’ve been there 25, 30, 35 years because number one, they’re loyal to, well they were loyal to Abe. They’re loyal to Ted. They’re loyal to this city, but more importantly, they really … We constantly think that what we do is try to provide great entertainment. When I go out and speak, I always say this city … To come out to events, you need two things. You need discretionary income to be able to go and afford to go out to events, but you also, even more important based on how busy this city is, you need discretionary time. And that’s what you have to do is convince people to use their discretionary time to come out. We all know that. You know that. That people here work a lot of hours. They have families. They have kids who are in soccer and swimming and every event imaginable.
Lew Strudler: So you need to take them to get their discretionary time and come out. So that means you have to provide a tremendous venue, a clean, great environment, great entertainment, world class stars, no matter what act there is anywhere in the world, they play at the Capital One Arena. And give them an opportunity and a reason to come out. And Ted’s committed to that.
Andy Ockershausen: Well one of the things that I’ve known is way back with Abe, not just with Ted, but the friendliness of the staff. The ladies that operate the suites, the help behind the counter. Everybody is very pleasant even when they weren’t winning, and that said something to me. I said this place is gonna really rock if they ever win. And sure enough it happened.
Lew Strudler: It sure did. Everybody there goes through training on how to be with guests and how to act.
Andy Ockershausen: Well there’ve been a lot of people stay there a long time.
Lew Strudler: They sure have. There’s people there who’ve been there since ’74 when it opened.
Andy Ockershausen: When they opened.
Lew Strudler on the Moment He Knew the Caps Had Won the 2018 Stanley Cup
Lew Strudler: Who are still a host and hostesses in the arena, but it all goes to show to see where we were in ’82. And then for me, I have to honestly say, when I looked out the window the night that we were playing in Vegas to win the championship and to see about 60 to 80 thousand people in the streets. After another 20 thousand people filling the seats to watch a game on our screens that were being played in Vegas, and that last 20, 30 seconds when I realized we were gonna win. I was with my daughter. I was very fortunate my daughter Erica was with me, and she grew up, from the time she was born, being a Caps fan. Just standing next to her, tears were rolling down my face.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh, I’m sure Lew ’cause this is fruition for all you have done and worked for over the years going way back. And I’m sure you’re gonna see it again. Lew, but it’s so important for us and Janice and I and WMAL to thank you for all you’ve done for Our Town with the teams and with the media. You’re a legend in the media in Our Town, and you worked at it. It wasn’t easy, and it cost you a lot of sleepless mornings I’m sure.
On Working with Andy Ockershausen
Lew Strudler: In 1982 when I met you and started friendships with so many people that have lasted since those days and have just grown and to see Andy, what effect you’ve had on town. I mean, everybody in my business, when somebody said, “I’m coming over and I’m gonna be doing something with Andy.” I said, “No, no, no. This is a friendship. We go back to when I started.”
Andy Ockershausen: Well, well, well.
Lew Strudler: Just how when you say Our Town, Our Town has grown so much since 1982, and the way sports has been perceived and the way fans have come out. And to see where hockey has become such an integral part. To go to a game now and not hear opposing fans cheering and out cheering the Capitals fans, to see our fans really, that’s just the greatest.
Andy Ockershausen: Oh that was deadly days, weren’t they.
Lew Strudler: They were.
Andy Ockershausen: Lew, I would tell you this. I discovered this by asking somebody that chartered for me in the good old days of Comcast Sports Net. I was telling so many people. I will think the Caps have a bigger audience in Baltimore than most other sports have in Washington except for the home team. The Caps were big in Baltimore.
Caps Big Fan Base in Baltimore
Lew Strudler: They were. We had our minor league team. When I started we had our minor league team, the Baltimore Skipjacks, and that would be our American Hockey League team in Baltimore. And they had an avid fan base in Baltimore, and those fans now and their families are still coming down to our games watching it on TV-
Andy Ockershausen: Caps are big in Baltimore.
Lew Strudler: Caps have become-
Andy Ockershausen: We’ve claimed six million people to use your product. How ’bout that? Good work.
Lew Strudler: And again, to have some of the greatest players in the world now on this team. To be able to see on a nightly basis an Ovechkin, a Holtby, a Kuznetsov,a Bäckström.
Andy Ockershausen: Bäckström.
Lew Strudler: Just absolute … they are … it’s a sight to be seen and the fan base, and it goes back … even when I started, and I mentioned Dick Patrick in 1982. He is still President of the Washington Capitals. He is still one of the owners in Ted’s ownership group, a major owner, and he still is the vision in terms of whose on that ice. And we’ve had great general managers. I mean, starting with David Poile to George McPhee to Brian MacLellan now.
Andy Ockershausen: You’ve had them all.
Direction of Team is On the Up
Lew Strudler: The direction … We’ve had them, and the direction of this team is just totally on the up. And I believe the direction is great for the Wizards as well. Again, it comes under Ted’s leadership.
Andy Ockershausen: Well, we’re gonna see the same thing happening, inevitably in basketball ’cause he’s committed, and I know he can do it. And I hope you and I are still here, Lew, to see that and be a part of it. But you’re such a big part of Our Town, and what you’ve done for sports and for people and for your owners and being vice president. I think you should be president of the global partnership.
Lew Strudler: I’m fine where I am. We’ve got a great … Jim Van Stone handles all our business operations, and I’m happy under that in terms of that. But I’m saying you will see and continue to see great things coming out of the Arena. And I predict that this will be … I’ll go like T.J. Oshie. We’re going for back to back.
Andy Ockershausen: And then we’ll go for a three beat. This has been Lew Strudler, and we’ve had a wonderful conversation. Lew, I wanna thank you for everything you’ve done for Our Town, what you have done for your organization. You’ve done so much for WMAL, and we don’t forget those things. And I just wish you nothing but the best for the future, Lew. You’re a good man.
Lew Strudler: Same to you Andy and the family.
Andy Ockershausen: Thank you so much. This has been a wonderful conversation with Lew Strudler about Our Town, and this is Andy Ockershausen.
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