2012 NHL Free Agents: 3 Players Who Would Be a Good Fit for Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals are in need of a few key unrestricted free agents who will revive the offense and fit in well with the team on the ice.
The Caps had an incredible playoff run this year, making it through to the second round. After defeating a No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference and remaining a consistent threat throughout the season, the Capitals have proven that they are capable of making it all the way to the Stanley Cup.
To do that, they’ll need to make a few major changes first. And they've already started.
With the defensive-minded Dale Hunter leaving the Caps clubhouse, the team would do well to look for offensive playmakers who can make a significant difference on the attack. Under Hunter’s coaching, the Caps had strong defensive play, but struggled when it came to take it to the net.
That’s what they need to focus on in free agency.
Free-agent players who are known to execute on offense would be a good fit for Washington. The Caps will need these power players and should utilize them as much as possible. Washington D.C. would attract strong, offensive players because they would get plenty of exposure and opportunities on the ice.
With that being said, which free agents should the Capitals focus on come July 1?
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The left wing from the Nashville Predators would be an interesting replacement for former Caps player Alexander Semin.
Washington star Alex Ovechkin would have to get used to Kostitsyn’s flashy play—this is player who is far from quiet or underwhelming. He only averaged 15 minutes on the ice, but Kostitsyn racked up 16 goals this past season for the Predators.
With six years of experience, Kostitsyn is comfortable enough on the ice but can still be molded to a new team.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
According to Katie Carrera from The Washington Post, the Capitals have six players set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Of those six, Jay Beagle and Mike Knuble are two right wings who will need to be replaced with a stronger player.
Although CBSSports.com reports that Doan will be a “likely top priority” for the Coyotes, nothing is signed and set it stone quite yet. Doan would be a much-needed addition to the Capitals offense if he were given the opportunity.
If both Knuble and Beagle choose to part ways with the Caps, there would be a great opening for Doan to come in and revitalize the Capitals on the offensive end. Doan averaged about 19 minutes on the ice and finished the season with 22 goals.
With the Capitals, he would be sure to see more playing time, and who knows how many more goals would come from that.
That’s something the Caps could really use in Washington.
Penner and the Kings are coming off their recent Stanley Cup championship win, and the first one for the franchise in L.A. The left wing did not have a stellar season with the Kings, but after winning the cup, he has the advantage of a little more appeal than most.
The Caps should also consider Penner’s track record. His time with the Kings might be used up and expired. What Penner might need is a change of scenery and a new team to play for.
Penner contributed three goals and eight assists in the postseason. He woke up a bit from the regular season and the Caps should look into giving him a chance.
Who knows, he could be a great fit in Washington and build up the Caps offense while also reviving his personal career.