Humble Beginnings

Yvon Labre

Yvon Labre was one of 24 players chosen by the Capitals in the team's expansion draft. He was one of only two of those 24 players who remained on the Washington roster throughout the team's inaugural season. A stocky, hard-nosed defenseman from Northern Ontario, Labre was plucked from the Pittsburgh Penguins' system.

There wasn't much for Washington hockey fans to cheer about in the early days of the franchise but the play and the presence of Labre on the Capitals blueline was a guiding and constant force throughout the dismal days of the 1970s.

The rugged Labre led the Capitals in PIM in each of the team's first two seasons; he also led Washington defensemen in scoring the maiden campaign of 1974-75. He tallied the Capitals' first-ever goal at the Capital Centre and served as the team's captain from Jan. 1976 through Nov. 1978. He was a regular on defense for three seasons before a series of injuries ravaged his career.

Labre was the last of the original Capitals to skate for Washington. The team retired his number on Nov. 7, 1981 and Labre remained with the team for most of the next two decades after his retirement. He served as an assistant coach, the team's TV color commentator and the club's director of community relations at various times throughout the 1980s and 1990s.




The Players

Bobby Carpenter  
Guy Charron  
Rick Green  
Al Jenson  
Yvon Labre  
Dennis Maruk  
Ryan Walter  
Ace Bailey  
Michael Belhumeur  
Edburg & Svensson  
Greg Joly  
Ron Low  
Marson & Riley  
Bill Mikkelson  
Doug Mohns  
Bryan Watson  
Tommy Williams  
Did You Know?  
Pierre Bouchard  
Denis Depere  
Stan Gilbertson  
Archie Henderson  
Ron Lalonde  
Gord Lane  
Mike Palmateer  
Robert Picard  
Nelson Pyatt  
Tom Rowe