The Washington Capitals spent the most money to date on free agents and all of it was put out on the first day of free agency; almost 70 million in contracts.
They two biggest addressed a major need at the back end of the ice with the signings of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. With addition of these two guys, the depth at the blue line for the Capitals could be one of the deepest in the league.
Karl Alzner thinks so at least:
“With Nisky, he’s going to be able to go out there, put some points on the board, move the puck out of the zone. And with Brooks, definitely adding some physicality to the back end, which we have with [John Erskine] a little bit, but it’ll be another level of that. I’m fired up about it. I think we have, on paper right now, one of the deepest blue lines, so I’m happy about that. I’m hoping we can all go out there and play good.”
With these two guys, you add two dimensions to the team. Niskanen is able to put points up on the board as well as move the puck out of the zone and Orpik is your back-end enforcer. He brings a physicality that was lacking last year in the Capitals defense.
The defense was the biggest question mark last year and the Capitals played against both of these guys a number of times and had difficulty. If you can’t beat them, sign them to play for you, I believe is the old adage here. They Caps also brought in their rival defensive minded coach that they faced off against with these two defensman in Todd Reirden.
With the defense bulked up, the Capitals look like they are just about all set to go for the new 2014-15 season and their playoff run.