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Stanley Cup visits the temporary Capital Gazette office

Craig “Woody” Leydig conducted an interview with The Capital around 2 p.m. last Thursday afternoon.

Leydig, the assistant equipment manager for the Washington Capitals, did the phone interview from the team’s headquarters – Kettler Iceplex, located in Arlington, Virginia.

Shortly after hanging up the phone, Leydig walked into the laundry room and saw breaking news on television announcing the shooting incident at the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis.

“I turned to my co-workers and told them I just got done doing an interview with a reporter who might be in that building,” Leydig told The Capital. “I was absolutely stunned and extremely upset.”

Leydig immediately called back that reporter to make sure he was OK and was greatly relieved. However, the Annapolis resident was devastated upon learning that five other employees of Capital Gazette had been killed in the horrific incident at 888 Bestgate Road.

Every coach, player, trainer and equipment manager with the Washington Capitals is allowed to spend one day with the Stanley Cup. Leydig took possession of the silver chalice on Tuesday and Capital Gazette was foremost in his thoughts.

Leydig’s third stop with the Stanley Cup – after first taking a motorboat ride on the Chesapeake Bay then visiting by the Naval Academy – was the makeshift office of Capital Gazette.

Leydig and his entourage brought the Stanley Cup to the temporary Capital Gazette office in Annapolis around 8:30 on Tuesday morning. Staff members, including five reporters that survived last Thursday’s attack, spent about 45 minutes taking photos with the legendary piece of hardware.

“My heart goes out to the families of those who were lost and to all the employees of Capital Gazette that have to find a way to move on from this terrible tragedy,” Leydig said.

After departing the Capital Gazette office, Leydig took the Stanley Cup to Maryland Veterans Cemetery Crownsville. His parents are laid to rest at the cemetery.

Stunned customers at the Wawa convenience store in Gambrills took photos with the cup. The cup was then taken to Heroes Pub in Annapolis where first responders had their photos taken with hockey’s top prize.

From there, Leydig’s crew stopped by a barber shop in the Eastport Shopping Center. The cup was then taken to Davis’ pub for photos and lunch with patrons.

The Stanley Cup was then shuttled via boat to City Dock where hundreds of Capitals fans lined the boardwalk along Ego Alley waiting for a chance to touch the cup. Anne Arundel Medical Center was the next destination for the cup and Leydig had a party planned for family and friends to conclude his day.

Several members of the Capital Gazette newsroom are longtime fans of the Washington Capitals, who captured the Stanley Cup for the first time in their 44-year history last month.

Phil Davis, police reporter for The Capital, is an unabashed and diehard fan of the New Jersey Devils. Davis, whose Twitter posts from inside the Capital Gazette office last Thursday were chilling, turned the Stanley Cup so the inscriptions for the Devils years of winning were displayed for photo purposes.

“We want to thank Craig for coming in with the Stanley Cup. It was clearly a big morale boost for everyone, particularly the hockey fans in the newsroom,” said Rick Hutzell, editor of Capital Gazette. “The number of selfies that came out of this was huge and will be treasured forever.”

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