Photo credit: Rob Carr
What can we say about John Erskine, the forgotten man?
Sometimes bad seasons happen to good people. There, you have learned the meaning of life from hockey. Erskine took a step backwards in terms of development and role on the team, but we are rooting for him, because the Caps just wouldn’t be the same without that gap-toothed grin.
Cap Hit: $1.5 M. Erskine is signed through 2012-13 and will be UFA on expiration of that contract.
Best Moment: Challenging Arron Asham for knocking out Jay Beagle and the ensuing antics, and winning.
Things We Said About John Erskine: “Has anyone seen John Erskine?”
Alignment: Neutral Good
Spirit Animal: Kodiak bear.
Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: Big John
Team Role: Defensive defensemen, part-time enforcer and nuclear deterrent.
Execution of that Role: This season wasn’t much fun for John Erskine. He played only 28 games out of 82, healthy scratches blurring into injuries blurring into healthy scratches until no one seemed to know what was going on with Erskine at all. Erskine wasn’t completely clear on what was going on, either — Dale Hunter’s obvious disfavor culminated in an uncomfortable interview in which he said the coach hadn’t been in communication with him at all. Drama aside, Erskine lost some ground on the depth chart this year, and will face an uphill battle for a jersey next year.
Postseason Performance: Erskine made it back into the lineup in Game Four of the Boston series after the physical game between the two teams started getting a little out of hand, and just like anyone who knew that a hulking 6’4 defenseman was watching them, the Bruins settled right down.
Erskine’s facial hair, as always, makes him look like a Viking warrior. Seven out of ten.
Likeliness to Return: It’s likely he’s the low man on the totem pole going into this season, but we’ll see what Coach Oates has to say about it. Seven out of ten.
Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: He’d have to watch that bad shoulder, but we have no doubt he could swing a two-handed weapon. Can we get him a broadsword? Nine out of ten.
Overall Year-End Rating: Five Good Sashas.