I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.Mikhail Grabovski is now a former Capital. Wednesday afternoon, Grabo signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the Metropolitan rival New York Islanders. The talented center will be on Long Island until he’s 34.
On a hot late spring day a little over a month ago, Brian MacLellan met the media for the first time as general manager of the Washington Capitals. The move to hire him was surprising, with MacLellan’s only executive experience coming under his recently fired boss George McPhee. But in his first press conference, MacLellan conveyed a more analytic tone than McPhee. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis praised MacLellan as someone who would “refresh” an organization with an already strong core.
Many fans feared MacLellan would be a continuation of McPhee, accepting the status quo and perpetually insisting the Capitals could paper over their flaws. Instead, he has transformed the team in one day, spending a stunning $67.5 million.
“I think we had some needs and we addressed them,” MacLellan told reporters. “We had cap room. Ownership gave the green light to get to the cap and we spent the money where we thought we needed to spend it the most.”
The Washington Capitals have addressed their defensive woes in the worst way possible, signing former Penguin Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5-million disaster of a deal.
Orpik, 33, has never played a full NHL season. He was a defensive defenseman in Pittsburgh, logging over 20 minutes a night. He has been outshot his whole career and hasn’t posted a positive relative possession score.
In Washington, he will likely will be used as a second pairing defenseman.
Let’s review Orpik’s career and his new contract:
Orpik played at the 2014 Olympics, maybe because the coach was Dan Bylsma.
Around 12:30 PM, the Washington Capitals made their first splash into free agency, signing a minor yet potentially important player. Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters has signed a two-year, $1.9 million deal, worth an annual average salary of $950K.
Peters, drafted 34th overall by the Hurricanes in 2004, will likely be the back-up for Braden Holtby. Peters played in the AHL before earning a call-up. He proved himself a solid goaltender as Cam Ward struggled with injury.
Peters is a notorious Caps-killer, posting a 4-3 record with a 1.67 GAA, .938 SV%, and two shutouts in seven career games against his new team.
Simply put: Peters is a solid goalie who can handle a potentially larger role if necessary. And he comes at a good price.
This move also signifies that Capitals prospect goalie, Philipp Grubauer will now be relegated to AHL Hershey and have to play out of his mind to force his way to the NHL.
NHL teams have had an extra handful of days to talk to players before free agency officially begins, so some are expecting today to be more bananas than usual. Considering the first day of free agency is traditionally already pretty bananas, I’m not sure I’m ready for the sheer volume of bananas we’re about to see.
Who’s gonna get the most ridiculous contract of the day? I’m gonna say Ryan Miller. Which defender will the Caps take? I’ve got no clue. Who’s gonna make a crazy trade? Probably Hextall.
Follow all the madness below. The comments should be fun. Please go GIF bananas.