Capitals made right call with keeping Tom Wilson in the mix

Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals not only locked in Tom Wilson for the next seven years to keep them competitive for the foreseeable future, they also ensured a future team captain would be on the squad when Alex Ovechkin hangs up his skates.

Driving to work today I was thinking about the Metropolitan Division and where the Caps stood. Obviously things are interesting not only because Wilson is locked in but the Pittsburgh Penguins added Erik Karlsson. Our contributor CJ will have more on that later.

I see the New Jersey Devils taking the division. They seem ready to take the next step. The New York Islanders have improved and then you got the Carolina Hurricanes who are always a threat.

But then there’s three teams in the Capitals, Penguins and New York Rangers that will be fighting for those two wild card spots along with hungry teams in the Atlantic Division.

That’s why signing Tom Wilson was all the more important. It doesn’t help the Caps win the Metro Division but it does help them try to keep their head above water in a league that got better.

Wilson had 13 goals and nine assists in 33 games last season but had a pace of 54 points had he played a full 82 game season. During the 2021 22 season, Wilson set career highs in goals with 24, assists with 28, points with 52, power play points with 10 and ice time per game at 18:35 in 78 games played.

So what motivated the Caps to get a deal done with Wilson right now instead of one year from now? You’re not going to believe this guys but it was hockey twitter! It was YOU non Caps fans who are reading this and crying while you type mean comments and tweets about how the Caps overpaid for Wilson.

Wilson and general manager Brian MacLellan saw the trade rumors and read about them. MacLellan was ticked when asked about it multiple times by the media. It only motivated them to get a deal done.

Wilson confirmed just as much:

"“I wanted to get rid of that, not have to worry about that. I knew I wanted to be here for as long as I could, and the team expressed the same.”"

MacLellan added:

"“Tom creates a lot of attention…it was creating attention about future contracts or possibilities about being traded. So it was a priority for us to get him signed and come to an agreement and (make him) a big part of our organization going forward.”"

Related Story. What Needs To Go Right For The Capitals To Compete Next Season. light

Wilson will officially be a big part of the Capitals organization during the final years of Ovechkin and the early stages of the post Ovi era. He’s ours to keep. This was a good move getting it done before the season.