Saturday, July 28, 2018

Wilson Punches Out Big Deal



The week finished off with quite the bang, as the Washington Capitals finished off their major restricted free agent signings of the summer with an absolute whopper of a deal.  The announcement came fairly late in the evening, as the Capitals and Tom Wilson agreed upon a 6-year, $31 million deal, which works out to be roughly a $5.17 million cap hit per season.

Wilson is a multi-faceted kind of player, as he was not only pool worthy in the scoring department, finishing with 14 goals and 35 points in 78 regular season games played, but he is also the resident tough guy on the team, leading the team and 2nd in the league for penalty minutes with 187.

He is a fairly hard-working player and a guy that teammates love to play with, so there is value there, but the $5 million range per season does seem a bit steep.  Only Dustin Byfuglien makes more per season among those who collected more than 100 penalty minutes last season, but there are a decent collection of cap hits in that list as well.  Only one other player in that group was pool worthy, Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

We are moving into projections season and I'm not overly convinced that Wilson will keep up his 35-point pace exactly, but playing on the top line from time-to-time certainly helps his cause.  Keeping him at that 35-point range might be the compromise I have, between not believing he can do it again and playing on the top line.  He's the type of guy you pick, however, if you are hoping that the PIM pool reemerges as a mini-game, once the wheel spins.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Alex Ovechkin 9.538 John Carlson 8.000 Braden Holtby 5.100
Evgeny Kuznetsov 7.800 Matt Niskanen 5.750 Ilya Samsonov 0.925
Nicklas Backstrom 6.700 Dmitry Orlov 5.100
T.J. Oshie 5.750 Michal Kempny 2.500
Tom Wilson 5.167 Madison Bowey 1.000
Lars Eller 3.500 Brooks Orpik 1.000
Andre Burakovsky 3.000 Christian Djoos 0.650
Brett Connolly 1.500
Devante Smith-Pelly 1.000
Shane Gersich 0.925
Hampus Gustafsson 0.884
Jakub Vrana 0.863
Chandler Stephenson 0.650
Nathan Walker 0.650

The Capitals don't have much left to spend, bu that's okay, their free agent list is now wiped off of everyone important.  The current 23-man roster they have above is now coming in with only $1.5 million to spare and they could probably swap out some of those more expensive bubble players for someone a little cheaper to pinch those pennies.
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