Next up on our Washington Capitals end of season player report cards is defenseman Matt Irwin. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer meaning he can sign with any team he wants. He had a cap hit this past season of $750,000.
Irwin’s season was better than the previous year. He had two goals and three assists for five points. He averaged 13:02 minutes of ice time and had 117 hits and 75 blocks.
Both of Irwin’s goals came in the month of March. His first came in a win at the San Jose Sharks. His second came in a loss at the New York Rangers in the Disney Channel game.
Irwin finished with a 47.99 percent Corsi For percentage, a 46.10 percent Expected Goals For percentage, and a 47.88 High Danger Chances For percentage, via Natural Stat Trick.
Irwin played in 61 games this season. He played in just 17 the season prior. Irwin is mostly a depth defenseman but with all the injuries that piled up on the Caps this season, he had a much bigger role and workload than anticipated.
He’s also a journeyman who is set to turn 36 this November. The Caps look like they’re pretty stacked on defense. And re signing Irwin would not help the team get younger. But he’s still reliable.
They signed young defenseman Hardy Haman Aktell this summer and they also re upped the contract of Alex Alexeyev. So again, these moves are all about the Caps trying to get younger. They need a better defense in front of Darcy Kuemper and more importantly they need to stay healthy.
Grade C+: Irwin did all he could this season to step up when the Caps were banged up. And that’s pretty much all you can ask from a depth defenseman. So his final grade this season is slightly above average.