Dennis Maruk was the best goal-scoring center whoever donned a Capitals uniform. In fact, he was one of the best pure goal scorers in team history. And yet his legacy could have been even greater, if only he had stayed with the team longer.
Maruk played a total of 343 games as a Washington Capital from 1978-1983, giving him the shortest tenure of any player on this list. But Maruk totaled 182 goals, 249 assists and 431 points in that relatively short amount of time, for astounding averages of 0.53 goals, 0.73 assists and 1.26 points per game. Maruk added 55 power-play goals, seven short-handed goals and 11 game-winning goals.
After totaling 90 points in his first full season in Washington in 1978-79, Maruk tallied only 27 points in an injury shortened 1979-80 season. The following year, however, Maruk had a breakout performance, scoring 50 goals with 47 assists for 97 points, with 16 power-play goals and five game-winners.
The 1981-82 season was even better, as Maruk had 60 goals and 76 assists for an impressive 136 points, with 20 power-play goals, all thanks to a shooting percentage of 22.4. Maruk, who only fought occasionally, also set a career high that season with 128 penalty minutes.
Thanks to his prodigious goal scoring while in Washington, Maruk still holds a share of a notable franchise record, a fact recently tweeted by the record-holder himself:
Unfortunately for Dennis, he played on some bad teams in Washington and only made the postseason once with the Capitals. In the 1983 playoffs, Maruk made his postseason debut in what would be his final season in Washington. Maruk had a goal and an assist in four games.
Maruk's lack of playoff exposure while in Washington is a crying shame. Capitals fans would have loved to see a goal scorer like Maruk wreak havoc on the Stanley Cup playoffs.