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Chocolate, Dogs & An Epic ‘Stache: Meet Capitals Goalie Charlie Lindgren



Washington Capitals Charlie Lindgren

ARLINGTON, V.A. — When asked about new Washington Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren, everyone says pretty much the same thing: “a good person.” He emulates that on and off the ice, wearing a smile that never seems to fade.

As he sits in his stall, Lindgren takes in the locker room as if it’s his first time in there. And, with a grin, he admits that he already feels at home after just a few weeks in the District.

“I’ll tell you I definitely am having the time of my life right now,” Lindgren said. “I’ve always heard really great things about this organization and this place as a living place, and it’s been fantastic… Away from the rink, it’s been awesome. My wife and I have really enjoyed it and coming to the rink every day, it’s a blast being around these guys.”

The 28-year-old is preparing for his first full NHL season after signing a three-year, $3.3 million contract with the Capitals in the offseason. His promotion comes after a standout five-game stint up with the St. Louis Blues (5-0-0, .958 save percentage) and an All-Star season with their AHL-affiliate Springfield Thunderbirds (.925 SV%). That success has carried over into the preseason so far. Lindgren has surrendered just two goals through three outings while stopping 41 of 43 shots in total (.953 SV%).

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Coming into this season, he is the backup to Darcy Kuemper, who he has already formed a tight bond with heading into the campaign. The two finally introduced their dogs to each other at the Caps Canine Shoot, and so far, Kuemper and Lindgren work well in tandem.

“When we both signed, either I shot him a text or he shot me a text just saying, excited to be together and work together and start that partnership. And then honestly, since the first day, we both kind of got here and connected,” Lindgren said. “We’ve really hit it off. I think he’s an amazing guy. He’s a fun guy to be around. He works extremely hard and he’s certainly making me get better every single day, which is exactly what I want. And I’m hoping I’m doing the same for him. Every time once we see each other, we got smiles on our faces. We’re excited to see each other. I’m excited to get to work.”

He has also brought more to the team’s winning culture and tight-knit group in the locker room.

“He works hard every day in practice. Guys really like him. He’s a good person, he’s easy to talk to. Both goaltenders are really good, nice people, good people and seem to be getting along with each other but also their teammates… we got a couple of real good guys, and Charlie’s [one of them].”

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Off the ice, Lindgren’s just your typical guy; he jams out to Riley Green and country music and spends his Sundays watching football. He and his wife, Mikayla, also work to support the military. He has also taken to educating himself more on the topic, reading a book about soldiers and recovery from PTSD. When the team is off, he admits to dipping into some chocolate every now and then and also loves to explore D.C., though still has some monuments to check off the list. And, like Kuemper, he’s a dog lover. His main spot so far: the dog park, where he and his rescue dog, Riley, who he got from Oklahoma during the pandemic, like to keep their energy up.

“Spend a lot of time at the dog park… I love dogs. My dog [Riley] is two and a half and just has a ton of energy in him. He’s half lab, half Australian Shepherd and we live in an apartment. Walks don’t do anything for him. We have to go to the park and get him running,” Lindgren laughed. He loves playing fetch and playing ball. It’s gotten bad where it’s like if we’re just hanging out, if I’m just sitting on the couch, he doesn’t like when I do that. He wants the attention all the time. so he starts crying at me and I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ll take you to the park.’ So we go to the park two or three times a day.”

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As he continues on with Washington, he’s ready to cement a legacy and be a big part of the club. Part of that, of course, goes into his signature look. The St. Cloud State alum has been sporting the iceberg pads for his entire career. He was also the first netminder to wear the “pretty attractive” Bauer Konekt laceless skates in season, which he stands by despite getting some strange looks here and there (Kuemper has also switched to Konekts). And of course, there’s also the iconic mustache.

“It’s just the look. I’ve had it now consistently for 13 months,” he said. “But I used to go off and on with it. It’s here for good. It ain’t leaving, it’s never leaving.”

In the end, he has already established himself as a big locker-room presence. But ultimately, he also wants to be relied upon when No. 79 is called.

“Going into this year, every single chance I have to get in the crease, I want to make the most of it, and I want the guys to trust me,” he added. “Certainly want these guys to rely on me and know that when I’m back there, they can definitely trust me.”