T.J. Oshie‘s father, Tim Oshie, who shared an emotional moment on the ice with the Washington Capitals forward after he won the Stanley Cup in 2018, has died at 56.
Tim, who was called “Coach” by everyone, including his son, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. He wasn’t able to travel from his home in Seattle to watch the Capitals play during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs but made it to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to see their championship-clinching 4-3 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“It’s with a heavy heart today that my family mourns the passing of my Dad ‘Coach Oshie’,” Oshie posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “Coach lived life to the fullest and was unanimously loved by everyone who met him. Thanks to all the family and friends for their support. Heaven received a legend today.”
Oshie missed the Capitals’ 6-3 win at the New York Rangers on Monday to be with his family.
“For my Dad, who has Alzheimer’s. His memory’s slipping a little these days,” Oshie said the night the Capitals won the Cup on June 8, 2018. “I think this is one memory that I don’t think he’s going to forget.”
Oshie got interested in hockey when he was 4 and Tim took him to watch Seattle of the Western Hockey League. He grew up in Everett, Washington, about 30 miles north of Seattle, until his dad made the decision to move to Warroad, Minnesota, in 2002 so Oshie could better pursue his dream to play NCAA Division I hockey.
After three seasons at the University of North Dakota, Oshie turned pro in 2008 and joined the St. Louis Blues, who selected him with the No. 24 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Capitals in 2015 and helped them win the Stanley Cup three years later.
Knowing all his father had done for him and seeing what he was going through with Alzheimer’s disease made Oshie appreciate even more having his dad lift the Cup with him during the on-ice celebration.
“What a great human being. What a great man. What a great father,” Oshie said. “Some things slip his memory these days. But this one, I think this one’s going to be seared in there. I don’t think any disease is going to take this one away from him.”
After Oshie was traded to the Capitals, his father quickly became popular among his teammates at the team’s annual mentors’ trip. So he was missed when he couldn’t make the trip last season.
“In a short amount of time he’s became a pillar for our team, and we’re all rooting for them and their family with what he’s going through,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said last season. “To me, I know how much it means to [T.J.] and just how much his dad loves hockey, loves being around the guys and loves experiences, whether it’s the fathers’ trip or what have you.”
That made it more special when Tim was able to travel to St. Louis to see Oshie play in his first NHL All-Star Game last season. Oshie and his father still had many friends in St. Louis area.
“It’s always great to have Coach Osh around,” Oshie said. “He missed our fathers’ trip this year. It’s kind of hard for him to travel, but we were able to make it work for him to come to St. Louis where a lot of the people you see working down here behind the scenes probably know him better than they know me, so he got to see some old friends. Just special to have him here to witness my first All-Star Game in person.”