Fresh off of a solid performance at the Capitals summer development camp last week, Joe Finley was arrested early Tuesday on disorderly conduct charges in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
It seems Finley and former UND Fighting Sioux teammate Matt Frattin were celebrating in a unique way at one of their homes. The police report states that the two were throwing cups, plates, a kitchen table and a lawnmower onto the street. Traffic on the road had to be redirected until street cleaners were able to clean it up.
And who said there's nothing to do in North Dakota?
Perhaps their biggest mistake was not cooperating with police when they arrived to question them on their behavior. UND Police Lt. Dan Lund said that when he approached them, they ran away. Finley made the wise decision to stop when told, however Frattin continued to run into the house which led police to charge him with fleeing an officer.
Finley then proceeded to make his second mistake by presenting a false ID. He was later charged with giving false information to officers.
The six-foot, seven-inch defenseman was the Capitals first round selection in the 2005 NHL draft. He spent the last four seasons playing for North Dakota where he totaled seven goals, 35 points, and 303 penalty minutes in 154 games. Washington signed him at the conclusion of his college career and he spent some time with the Hershey Bears of the AHL in the spring getting into one game and totaling seven penalty minutes.
He's a player with a mean streak that once got him in trouble for mixing it up with Buckey Badger, the University of Wisconsin mascot.
The Capitals even tried him out at left wing during development camp with the thought that he could one day fill the role vacated by Donald Brashear's departure this off-season. His size and attitude would be a handful for opposing teams to defend.
Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau commented on his possible position change last week saying, "It was out of necessity because of Gustafsson and Della Rovere getting hurt, but we've always thought in the back of our minds that he could be a pretty imposing forward because he can skate, he's got better than average hands, he passes the puck well, and shoots the puck well."
"It's a bit of an experiment, but it's not unique to the hockey world that you try guys in other positions. We know what he can do and it gives him an idea that this is a spot that might be better suited for him."
Finley seemed excited about the move as well.
"To get to put the defenseman's nose into the glass for once is a nice feeling," said Finley. "The only time I don't think I was comfortable was a few times in the defensive zone. I wanted to get on the puck carrier too much and pressure them. I just had to back off a little bit and make sure I was picking up the late guy."
In the large scheme of things this incident with Grand Forks police will most likely have no effect on Finley's professional career or his position within the Capitals organization. As the saying goes, boys will be boys, and fans in Washington can only hope that Finley straightens things out and becomes the physical presence up front that the team could definitely use.
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