In October 2017, after nearly a decade of trying to put his life back together after the devastating death of his father, Vladimir Konstantinov, the Russian Rocket scientist who had helped pioneer the first successful spaceflight, died at the age of 83.
He had become a father for the first time since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The day of his death, the NHL announced that Konstantinsov would be honored for the last time as the Caps captain in 2020.
The day before his death in a New York City hospital, Konstantinosov sent a letter to the Caps, outlining the reasons why he had decided to pass away.
“Today is the day that I will forever be a Caps fan,” he wrote.
“I love you guys.
Your Caps have always been there for me, for my family, and for me.
I will always be a loyal Caps fan.
But most of all I want to say thanks to my wife, who gave me the courage to make this decision and to fight for what’s right.
She will always carry me and I will never forget her.
For now, I will be spending the rest of my life with her, and I am sure I will always cherish that day.”
The letter continued: “The future of the Caps is in my hands.
It’s my job to make sure that the Caps are a successful team, and that we achieve that.
And it is my job and my duty to help all the Caps fans to achieve that goal.
That’s my life and my dream.
In the meantime, I want you to know that the time has come to move on from this journey.
To live our lives, to take our family to the park, to eat dinner and to play soccer with friends, we can do it, but we can only do it when we are all together.
It is time to get back to normal.
We will never lose hope.
Our goal is to become a team, not a dream.
That’s why I will continue to be here with the Caps.”
In his letter, Konstinosov called the NHL “the best in the world.”
“You’ve always helped me,” he said.
“You helped me realize that I can do anything, and there is no limits to my abilities.”
Konstantinosovsky was a veteran of several NHL seasons.
He played six seasons with the New York Islanders, three with the Buffalo Sabres, two with the Tampa Bay Lightning and one with the Ottawa Senators.
After the Capitals traded for Konstantinoov in 2012, he was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils, who used the pick on Alexander Semin and signed him to a five-year, $27 million contract.
Kontosynov played for the Devils through the 2011-12 season and was a key member of the club’s playoff run.
He had 17 goals and 26 assists for 58 points in 67 games.
On Jan. 26, 2013, after being traded to the New England Patriots, Konstaninsovsky returned to the Capitals, signing a two-year deal worth $3 million per season.
His return to the NHL was part of a plan that also included the signing of two former Caps and New York Rangers teammates, Kevin Shattenkirk and Nicklas Backstrom.
During the season, Konstrinosovsky, who had been suspended for the final five games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, was suspended for four games, fined $3,000 and ordered to undergo counseling.
As a result of his suspension, he missed the Capitals first three games of 2012-13.
When he returned, he became a key part of the Capitals turnaround, scoring seven goals and seven assists in 19 games.
In 2013-14, he finished with 26 goals and 36 assists in 61 games.
After scoring a goal in the Capitals final game of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoff run, Konstromov went on to lead the team to a first-round playoff series win against the Tampa Lightning.
Although the Capitals lost that series in seven games, KonStinosov had five goals and four assists in five playoff games.
The following season, he had six goals and nine assists in 28 games.
Kontsynov scored three goals and added four assists for 13 points in 10 playoff games with the Capitals.
On Feb. 22, 2014, Konstraichov was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
The diagnosis was confirmed on March 11, 2014.
Konstanysov was discharged from the hospital on April 9, 2014 and returned to play in his native Russia for the second time.
He scored one goal and had two assists in seven playoff games, including the series-clinching Game