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From Alaska to D.C.: Caps sign Joey Crabb

Joey Crabb #46 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates in the warm-up prior to a game against the Minnesota Wild on January 19, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (AP)

Ben Raby, @benraby31

WASHINGTON – The path from Anchorage, Alaska to Washington, D.C. can make for a long journey with many stops along way, just ask former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The newest member of the Washington Capitals, Alaska native Joey Crabb, would also concur.

Crabb left home when he was 16-years-old and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to join to the U.S. National Team Development Program. Since then, Crabb has played junior hockey in Green Bay, college hockey in Colorado and minor pro hockey in Chicago and Toronto. Crabb has also played 144 NHL games for the Atlanta Thrashers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

But finally on Sunday, 13 years after he first left Alaska to pursue a hockey career, Crabb was rewarded with his first one-way NHL contract. Crabb, 29, signed a one-year $950,000 deal with the Capitals on the first day of free agency.

“You always have to have a strong work ethic and keep working hard,” Crabb said in a conference call Monday.

“I was always confident in my game and confident that I could play in the NHL. Obviously I would have liked to get there a little earlier


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