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Butt Taps Are Back: Oshie & Wilson Reunite, Share Story & Importance Of Ritual

T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson discuss the return and origin of the famous “butt tap” warmup tradition and share more on their bond with the Washington Capitals.



WASHINGTON — T.J. Oshie felt the burn in warmups on Sunday for the first time in months, and he couldn't have been happier about it. The 36-year-old finally saw Tom Wilson draw back in after he underwent ACL surgery in May, signalling the return of their famous pregame tradition: butt taps.

Before each game, Oshie will make sure to catch all of his teammates with a quick tap on the behind before making his way to over to Wilson, who he'll hit last. After receiving his butt tap, Wilson will turn around and return the favor, sending Oshie to his knees before he goes in for a shot on the goaltender. So, after months of rehab, Wilson had quite the slash built up for a grateful Oshie.

"That was a good one," Oshie grinned. "That was, gosh, I don't know what's been seven, eight months of preparation built up there for him. So it was a very solid and very firm slap on the butt."

"We got a big cheer," Wilson smiled, admitting he missed that after being sidelined for months. "It was fun."

The tradition dates back to Oshie's arrival in 2016. Since his college days, No. 77 has given all of his teammates a whack on the butt, and in D.C., he got into the tradition with Wilson and former Capitals forward Michael Latta.

"I got here and Latta and Tom were there, and I think they just loved the energy of me doing it… it just kind of grew from there," Oshie explained.

With Wilson out, Oshie had been going through the motions himself over the last 46 games, not feeling anything as he feigned pain and fell to the ice on his own, something that'd look odd to outsiders who'd never seen the ritual take place before. However, it has withstood the test of time and despite injuries and absences, has carried on for nearly seven years.

"I still didn't realize how much we actually interact with each on on a game day. It was great," Oshie said. "My day is almost complete, if I can get Johnny and Hags back in there, they're also in my little routine, but it was great."

And, for Wilson, the butt taps were just a reminder that he's healthy again and things are back to normal, and that each day going forward is just business as usual as he draws back into the mix.

"Just trying to pick up where you left off," Wilson said.

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