Monday, July 2, 2007

Nylander signs four year deal with Caps

Why is that the two days that I really need to be by a computer (first and second day of NHL free agency) are naturally the two days that I cannot seem to get near one?

Some more terrific news from the Caps:

After nearly two full days of negotiations -- and a premature report out of Edmonton -- Michael Nylander, who was the Caps' top free agent choice, is headed back to Washington. It's a four year deal. I don't know the money yet, but will get that to you as soon as I find out.

This is a critical signing for the Caps and especially for Alex Ovechkin, who finally will have a top-flight set up man to feed him passes. Nylander, 34, posted a career high 26 goals and 83 points last season while skating on the Rangers' first line with Jaromir Jagr.

The Rangers, of course, signed Chris Drury and Scott Gomez yesterday, which kind of squeezed Nylander out of the picture. Jagr, according a quote I read this morning, wasn't too happy about Nylander's departure

This is great news and nets the Caps a true first line center, not to mention a Swedish speaking mentor for Backstrom. Expensive? Yes. But based on Nylander's numbers the past few seasons and what other free agents have been signing for, it was the right price.

I'll have more on this later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Update: Nylander will be paid 5.5 mil the first three years and 3 mil for the fourth and final year.

Update 2:
Nylander's numbers from the Caps:

Nylander, 34, is a 6’1”, 195-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden, who posted career highs in goals (26), assists (57) and points (83) in 79 games for the New York Rangers last season. His 15-year NHL career has spanned seven teams, including 74 games with the Capitals in 2002-03 and ’03-04. He has posted 189 goals and 420 assists (609 points) in 808 career games, with his two best offensive seasons coming in the past two years (162 points in 160 games).

Nylander ranked second on the Rangers in assists and points in 2006-07, while leading the team in goals (six) and points (13) in 10 playoff games. He ranked tied for 12th in the NHL in regular-season assists and tied for 21st in scoring, while his 14 power-play goals shared the Ranger team lead and ranked tied for 14th in the league. His 37 power-play points ranked tied for 16th in the league. Nylander’s 1.3 points per game in the playoffs led all players whose team reached at least the second round.

A third-round choice of the Hartford Whalers in 1991, Nylander has enjoyed seven 50-point seasons in the NHL, with at least 60 points in each of his last five full seasons in the league. He has scored 23 or more goals four times, including totals of 23 and 26 goals each of the last two seasons. He is a combined +43 in the last two years and has had a positive plus/minus rating in each of his last seven NHL seasons. In 2005-06 Nylander ranked third in the league with 62 even-strength points.

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