The biggest disappointment of the Washington Capitals this season was Brendan Leipsic.
Yesterday we shared who was the biggest surprise of the season. We’ve also hit on the biggest impact player and the best player of the season. The biggest disappointment of the Washington Capitals this year was obviously Brendan Leipsic but more for his off the ice behavior than on the ice.
The Caps signed him last summer on a cheap one year deal worth $700,000. With the team tightly strapped to the cap ceiling year after year, sometimes these cheap contracts are what they can afford. When the Caps brought him on he was projected to be a speedy fourth liner.
Leipsic scored three goals and added eight assists for 11 points in 61 games. When the team brought on Ilya Kovalchuk at the trade deadline, coach Todd Reirden had to make a lineup adjustment.
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Part of that was moving a struggling Richard Panik to the fourth line where he thrived since the move. Kovalchuk was slotted into the third line which put Leipsic as the odd man out.
When one thinks of the Caps fourth line this season, usually they think of who I like to call the podcast bros Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway. He called them losers in a group shat that had screenshots resurface and also had content in the messages that went from bad to worse.
It came from a private group chat on Instagram where Leipsic made inappropriate comments about women, referenced illegal drug use, and even insulted former teammates. Leipsic has played on five teams in his short four year career.
The Caps rightly removed him from their organization after they realized there was “no path forward with the player” after the comments were “completely unacceptable” per a detailed story about the transaction from Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic (subscription required).
What remains to be seen is what happens to the career of Brendan Leipsic going forward in the NHL? His comments made him trend across the hockey universe so that wouldn’t sit well with the 30 other clubs either.
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Perhaps bring up a player or two from Hershey, put them in the press box if the season resumes and have them learn about life on the road in the NHL. They’ll benefit in the long run.
But perhaps the league should take steps in educating younger players about representing themselves online since they’re in the public eye. Just an idea.