While I may be very late to this party, I still have to give my two cents on what could be the game changer for the Caps defense this season and beyond.
Matt Niskanen was signed to a 7 year $40.25 million dollar contract, this is all old news to you all but can we just sit here for a minute and think about how valuable a 27 year old is going to be in 7 years? he’ll be 34 then and while Papa Knubs was still kicking, not all players can play with that intensity in their mid 30’s. Especially as a defenseman. I, personally, view defensemen having one of the harder more body intense jobs on the ice. Behind the goalie, of course.
Niskanen is a solid defenseman, no disputing that. But I, and a lot of you Caps fans, feel he was over paid and given a longer contract than he deserved. Granted, he was on the upswing with the Penguins in his last year playing for them, but I still don’t believe that justifies the length and pay of his contract.
Brooks Orpik was also signed during the free agency frenzy with a 5 year $27.5 million dollar deal. Now I ragged on Niskanen for getting so many years in his contract at age 27, so you can imagine how I feel about the length of his contract. He’ll be nearing 40 by the time his contract is up and while he’s a solid player, he’s getting up there in his years and I wory that his productivity will start sliding down hill.
Overall, I’m glad the Caps got these two strong defensemen. They’re solid players who know what they’re doing on the ice and can help lead the team if, rather when, things start to slide. My only concern is age and ability to stay on top of their game, but only time will tell.