Caps Notes: Boyd Gordon Signed, 3 File for Arbitration

July 06, 2010 | Ed Frankovic

Boyd Gordon Signs 1 Year Deal

Below is Tuesday’s press release from the Washington Capitals outstanding PR department:

The Washington Capitals have signed center/right wing Boyd Gordon to a one-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gordon, 26, completed his seventh professional season with the Capitals in 2009-10 and registered four goals and six assists in 36 games. His ice time was limited due to injury but he led the team with a 61.0% faceoff rate, which would have led the league had he taken enough draws to qualify. He ranked third on the team in average shorthanded ice time (2:39 per game) and had a goal and an assist, both while shorthanded, in the playoffs. 

The Unity, Saskatchewan, native was the Capitals’ first-round choice, 17th overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft and is the longest-tenured Capital on the roster. He has played in 303 career games for Washington, recording 76 points (24 goals, 52 assists) and just 66 penalty minutes. He was also an integral member of the 2006 Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League, playing in all 21 playoff games. The former Red Deer Rebel won the Memorial Cup in 2000-01.

COMMENT: Pierre LeBrun of ESPN is reporting that the deal is for $800,000. Gordon had a solid post season and he dominated in the face-off circle and scored a shorthanded goal while also being on the ice for another tally by Mike Knuble. He is a strong fourth line player whose only downside is a cranky back. 

3 Capitals File for Arbitration

On Monday, three Washington Capitals restricted free agents filed for salary arbitration, Eric Fehr, Jeff Schultz, and Tomas Fleischmann. Fehr, Schultz, and “Flash” all had career seasons and are hoping to cash in with big raises. The hearings will be held in Toronto some time between July 20 and August 4th and rulings must be out by August 6th. In the arbitration process the player and the club make their respective cases and a third party determines what is considered a fair salary. The player is bound by the result if the club decides to accept the decision. If the club chooses to “walk away” from the arbitrator’s determined figure, then the player becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team. Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post provides some good background info here, including pointing out that the Caps and each player can continue negotiating up until the arbitration date.

There have been some critics of the Caps approach to free agency this summer, not only from the media but by some fans on message boards and social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. The biggest concern voiced has been the lack of action from McPhee on the free agent front. However, given the numerous players on their roster that became restricted free agents (includes the four players already mentioned plus prospects Jay Beagle, Chris Bourque, Andrew Gordon, Patrick McNeill, and Zach Miskovic) and the Capitals salary cap situation (if all of their players are re-signed, they will have around $4.5M remaining; h/t @tarikelbashir) combined with the high prices and the long terms doled out, it is easy to see why the Caps GM has been quiet  on the free agency front. I said it after day one and I’ll say it again now, so far McPhee’s decision to be prudent in free agency is a wise one.