Some great free agent news for the Caps today:
The Caps signed forward Viktor Kozlov and D-man Tom Poti July 1st, the first day that potential free agents could be signed. Tarik has the news:
Poti signed a four-year contract that will pay him $3.5 million per season, and Kozlov agreed to a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season.
Poti, a powerful skater who possesses a hard, accurate slap shot, is expected to add punch to the Capitals' anemic power play, which ranked 24th last season. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound native of Massachusetts directed the Islanders' 12th-ranked power play, racking up six goals and 26 assists with the man advantage. He also played significant minutes on the penalty kill unit and was 14th in the league with 170 blocked shots.
"Our scouting staff thought that [Poti] had the best year of his career last year and that he's really coming into his own," McPhee said. "We needed a left-handed shot for the power play, he's excellent on the penalty kill and moves the puck, very, very well. We've felt we've got some young defensemen who are good at shutting the other team down, but we needed a little more skill to help us out with special teams."
The 32-year-old Kozlov is 6-5, 230 pounds but plays a finesse game. He's a gifted puck handler and accurate passer and is effective in the shootout, converting 5 of 13 attempts last season. The Capitals were 1-10 in games decided on penalty shots.
The most interesting part of Tarik's take was this:
Assuming Poti is the only addition on defense this summer, the Capitals' top four next season likely will include Shaone Morrisonn, Brian Pothier and Milan Jurcina. That would leave Steve Eminger, John Erskine, Josef Boumedienne and prospects Jeff Schultz and Mike Green to battle for the remaining spots.I have to assume that Jurcina, Morrisonn and Pothier arent going anywhere. I was surprised to see Erskine offered a QO last week. He has limited hockey skills and Donald Brashear (and to some extent Matt Bradley, Brian Sutherby and others) fill the enforcer role. Seems like the Caps have a bit of a surplus on the D side, not that I am complaining. And I would like to see the prospects kept around (yes, even Eminger). Whats the point of drafting and developing players if you are not going to keep some of them to rebuild around? And they will surely benefit from having one more vet on the team.
Check out where all the "big" free agents went.