The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Capitals are owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, headed by Ted Leonsis. From 1974 to 1997 the Capitals played their home games at the Capital Centre, in Landover, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, D.C.). In 1997 the team moved to the arena now called Capital One Arena, their present home arena in Washington, D.C.
The Capitals were founded in 1974 as an expansion franchise, alongside the Kansas City Scouts. Since purchasing the team in 1999, Leonsis revitalized the franchise by drafting star players such as Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Braden Holtby. The 2009–10 Capitals won the franchise's first-ever Presidents' Trophy for being the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. They won it a second time in 2015–16, and did so for a third time the following season in 2016–17. In addition to eleven division titles and three Presidents' Trophies, the Capitals have reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice (in 1998 and 2018), winning in 2018.
The Capitals have retired the use of four numbers in honour of four players. In addition, the team holds an association with a number of individuals inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Capitals are presently affiliated with two minor league teams, the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, and the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.