Washington Capitals: Eleven Reasons To Be Thankful

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Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Williams and Oshie

Forwards Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie came onto the team in July and fans have been celebrating ever since. Without surrendering to the outrageous demands that the Chicago Blackhawks were seeking in exchange for high-profile free agent Patrick Sharp, the Washington Capitals managed to pick up two experienced scorers for a relatively cheap price. Throw in defenseman Taylor Chorney from the Pittsburgh Penguins and we had quite an eventful summer. 

If you ever needed a barometer on how advantageous a player’s acquisition is for their new hockey team – you can usually tell by the sentiment surrounding fans of the player’s former team. T.J Oshie made his way to Washington from the St. Louis Blues (who drafted him 24th overall) and Justin Williams sought to play for D.C. after spending seven seasons (and winning two Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy) with the Los Angeles Kings.

From chatting with fans of both teams, I’ve received the impression that fans of neither team felt like their team got the upper hand after surrendering their player. I’m thankful that the Washington Capitals organization displayed a great deal of patience in waiting for the right deal to present itself in bringing more star power to the District. Contracts to both players seem very reasonable in price and term: $6.5 million for two years for Williams and $9 million for two years for Oshie.

By contrast, the Dallas Stars are paying $10.5 million over the next two years for Patrick Sharp. I think if we had landed Sharp, we would have probably needed to also part with more than Troy Brouwer and Pheonix Copley (who we also exchanged for Oshie with a third round pick). Realistically, we might have lost a great deal more of our future in that trade – likely giving up a valuable prospect or two and a high round pick in next year’s Draft.

I’m thankful that it didn’t come to that. I like Patrick Sharp a great deal as a player, but both Williams and Oshie seemed genuinely eager to be traded to a team with Alex Ovechkin on it in pursuit of a Stanley Cup. As such, the terms to their contracts were more reasonable as a result. In previous situations, we’ve broken the bank in trades like this and quickly soured on our investments. This way, we kept our valued prospects and the team finally found its top two right wingers.

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