Curt Millar began working for the Washington Capitals as a massage therapist in the early 1990s. It was not long before his daughter, Jenni, was also learning about massage therapy.
“I was 10 when he started going to massage school. I have been around it my entire life,” said Jenni [Millar] Roberts, a 1993 graduate of Laurel High. “I was able to work under him. I was able to get experience as a young female.”
“The one reason they allowed me in the lockerroom was my father was there,” she added. “Once you get that experience it goes a long way.”
Today father and daughter both work as massage therapists for professional teams in Washington.
Millar is in his second stint with the Capitals while his daughter has been a massage therapist with D.C. United of Major League Soccer since 1996, while also working with several of the athletic teams at the University of Maryland. She also works with private clients.
After graduating from Laurel High, Roberts attended Prince George’s Community College for a few semesters before she entered massage therapy school.
“I knew that is what I wanted to do,” said Roberts, who grew up in West Laurel and now lives in Westminster with her husband and two young children.
“My daughter decided to go to massage school and I had nothing to do with that,” said Millar, the proud father. “She really did not want to go to college. She did that all on her own.”
Millar and his wife, Sharon, moved to Laurel in 1976 and they also have two sons, both of whom played ice hockey at The Gardens Ice House in West Laurel and at a rink in Columbia.
One of the sons, Kevin, lives in North Carolina while the other one, Jason, who is twins with Roberts, works at the University of Maryland in College Park as a dining services/ground maintenance supervisor.
During the NHL lockout during the 2004-05 season Millar and his wife went with some friends from Laurel and ended up looking at property in North Carolina. They ended up buying a home there.
At the end of the 2007-08 hockey season Millar stepped down as the massage therapist for the Capitals.
A few months later he was called by the Capitals and told that his replacement had been fired after just a few months on the job. While Millar did not want to be apart from his wife, who remained in North Carolina, he returned to the Capitals in January, 2009.
Millar joked that part of the reason he returned to the Caps is because he did not want to miss a chance to be part of a Stanley Cup champion after so many years with the club while his replacement could have won a ring after just a few months with the team.
Millar stays at a loft near the Verizon Center during the hockey season and lives in North Carolina during the summer. He is able make a quick ride on the Metro to Arlington, VA for practice sessions with the Capitals and only has to walk one block to his apartment after home games at the Verizon Center.
His daughter is grateful for her father’s career. “He really paved the way. He and some other local massage therapists paved the way in this area. Having that connection was important as a young female,” she said.
Now both are part of pro teams in the nation's capital.