With an arbitration hearing looming on Wednesday, July 28th, both the Washington Capitals and the Tomas Fleischmann camp were able to come to a last minute agreement and avoid what can become an uncomfortable session. “Flash” has signed a one year deal with the 2009-10 NHL President’s Trophy winners, which according to Tarik El-Bashir of The Washington Post, is for $2.6M. With the inking the Caps have pretty much finalized the roster they will take to training camp and they will likely go into the season with somewhere around $5M in salary cap space giving GM George McPhee lots of room to make changes to his club before the 2011 post season. Below is the text of the Caps press release on this deal:
The Washington Capitals have signed forward Tomas Fleischmann 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.
Fleischmann, 26, set career highs in goals (23), assists (28), points (51) and plus/minus (+9) in 2009-10. He finished sixth on the team in goals and seventh in points and ranked sixth in the NHL with a 19.0 shooting percentage. Fleischmann scored 10 of his 23 goals in the first period and scored eight goals in the 10 games that Alex Ovechkin was missing from the lineup. He established offensive career highs despite missing the first 11 games of the season recovering from deep vein thrombosis in his leg.
The Koprivinice, Czech Republic, native was acquired from Detroit in a 2004 trade and has played 260 career games for the Capitals. He has compiled 128 points (56 goals, 72 assists) and has improved his goal and point totals each year. Fleischmann represented the Czech Republic in the 2010 Olympics and was a key member of the Hershey Bears team that won the 2006 Calder Cup, leading the American Hockey League in playoff assists (21).
MORE COMMENTS: This was a good deal for the Caps given some of the recent arbitration awards, such as Clarke MacArthur’s $2.4M award that the Atlanta Thrashers have walked away from. When I saw that Matt Moulson (30 goals in 2009-10) signed for $2.45M today with the Islanders to go along with Alexander Frolov’s $3M deal with the Blueshirts and Alexei Ponikarovsky’s $3M contract (plus $200k signing bonus) I felt that Flash would receive somewhere between $2.5M and $3M from the arbiter so this move by McPhee makes a lot of sense. By the way, if you would like to hear more about how the Caps development camp went, thoughts on the roster going forward, the Fleischmann situation, and other hot Washington hockey topics please check out Japers Rink Radio for Tuesday night’s show with Stephen Pepper and Russell Waxman, which featured yours truly as a guest.