Discovery has its Shark Week; at OFB this week we’ll be celebrating and chronicling the brief but oh so memorable Caps’ career of Kevin ‘Killer’ Kaminski. Cause Killer’s coming home — he’s coming into town this weekend to take in the Caps-Hawks’ game on Sunday, his first visit to D.C. since his playing career ended in the late 1990s. Mike Vogel calls Killer “a total fan favorite, a total heart and soul player,” and he’s right. Many Capitals’ forwards scored many more goals and wore the Caps’ sweater many more seasons than Killer, but few earned his lasting legacy. Like his pal Dale Hunter, Killer was beloved by his teammates, loathed by his opponents.
Before there was Matt Hendricks, Killer — all 170 pounds of him — jumped over the boards at old Capital Centre and made life miserable for Capitals’ opponents. Sized for a bowling league, he was a one-man wrecking crew, walloping foes with thundering body checks and perfectly playing the role of instigating pest. He dropped the gloves, Mike Vogel tabulated, 33 times in 132 games with the Capitals, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to yield half a foot and 50-plus pounds in the engagements. You’ll be surprised at the outcome of many of those seeming mismatches when you watch the video of Killer we’ve compiled.
You’ll also have a chance to get to know Killer better when he appears this Saturday on WTOP’s ‘Saturday Night Caps’ for the full hour at 6:00 with Jonathon Warner, Ben Raby, and me, and we’re expecting reminiscences over the phones from some A-lister Caps’ alumni who skated with Killer here. Killer will taking a tour of a lot of media here this weekend.
Archival footage of the Capitals’ first 25 years isn’t so easy to come by, but with Killer’s help we’ve been able to edit together some fun video that lavishly illustrates the impact he had on hockey while in Washington. We even found footage of him in a local bar opposite Melissa Stark, then of Home Team Sports! One word of advice as you watch the video below, and it’s the same advice Killer dispensed on virtually every shift he took with the Caps — Keep your head up!