Happy birthday to …
Ed Nicholson: Capitals defenseman from 1946-49. Despite being small (5-7, 171), he was a strong defenseman and an excellent checker. He played 187 games with the Caps, with 12 goals and 50 assists, as well as 188 penalty minutes. Nicholson played one NHL game — with the Red Wings in 1948. He went to St. Louis in 1949 and played three seasons with the AHL Flyers. A native of Kingston, Ont., he was born in 1923. He passed away in 1987 at age 63.
Don Ashbee: Winger who played part of the 1951-52 season with the Capitals, splitting the year with the Buffalo Bisons. He had 25 points in that season, one of eight minor-pro seasons Ashbee played in the USHL, AHL, PCHL and WHL through 1957. He was a promising prospect with Buffalo, but a misdiagnosed injury hampered his hockey career. However, he was also a standout lacrosse player, scoring 880 career goals, and was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1974. A native of Weston, Ont., he is 87.
Tim Ferguson: Left wing who played three games for the Ice in 1997-98. The brother of former Ice coach Bob Ferguson, Tim had an outstanding junior career — with 46 goals in the OHL in 1984-85, and 56 goals and a record 135 points for USHL Sioux City the following year (a record that still stands), winning the Clark Cup. He broke in and had 28 goals as a pro rookie with IHL Salt Lake in 1986-87. He played several years in Europe before returning to North America in 1997, and playing through 2001 in the CHL, ECHL and UHL. He has also served as an assistant coach in the USHL. A native of Kingston, Ont., he is 51.
Dan Back: Left wing who played 32 games for the Ice in 2000-01. He had two assists and 17 penalty minutes in that span. That came at the end of a four-year minor pro career that also saw him play for five ECHL teams from 1997-2000 before coming to the Ice. A native of Hamilton, Ont., he is 41.