Capitals 2000-01 Roster Comments

By Rick Davis

Thank you to the people who corrected the information that I had on Danius Zubrus’s contract.

Craig Billington

2000-01 regular season numbers – 12 games, 660 minutes, 2.45 GAA, 3 wins, 5 losses, 2 ties, .915 save %

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – Although Craig doesn’t get a lot of playing time with the Capitals, he plays very well when he is in. All signs point to him being happy as Kolzig’s backup and the Capitals being happy with him. One of the benefits of having Billington as a backup is that as a veteran, he can and does help Kolzig with positioning and confidence. I would be extremely surprised if he does not return.

James Black

2000-01 regular season numbers – 42 games, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -3, 4 PIM

Contract Status – Capitals have option on 2001-2002 season

Comments – James came into last season still trying to recover from a broken leg sustained the year before, and it seemed that missing camp hurt his conditioning which in turn hurt his position with the team. Primarily a role-player and penalty-killer, James was a healthy scratch for all six Capitals playoff games. It has been reported in the Washington Post that the Capitals are leaning towards not exercising the option on James’s contract, thus making him an Unrestricted Free Agent after July 1.

Peter Bondra

2000-01 regular season numbers – 82 games, 45 goals, 36 assists, 81 points, +9, 60 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2004-2005, with Capitals holding the option for each of the last two years

Comments – Peter had an awesome comeback year (43 more points than the year before) and I am looking forward to seeing him on the ice next year. He hurt his finger during the playoffs and had some pretty apparent problems with his shot, otherwise he almost certainly would have scored more.

Sylvain Cote

2000-01 regular season numbers – 68 games, 7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points, -2, 18 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – After a slow start, Sylvain played his way into the top 6 and never lost his place in the lineup. He played well in the playoffs and will most likely be back next season, although I think he will have to work hard to keep his top 6 job.

Ulf Dahlen

2000-01 regular season numbers – 73 games, 15 goals, 33 assists, 48 points, +11, 6 PIM

Contract Status – Unrestricted Free Agent as of July 1

Comments – Came into training camp in great shape, had a great camp and played extremely well all year. Fourth on the Caps in points, and made up one third of The Hockey News’s “Best Shutdown Line”, along with Jeff Halpern and Steve Konowalchuk. Ulf is an Unrestricted Free Agent, but will probably re-sign with Washington.

Sergei Gonchar

2000-01 regular season numbers – 76 games, 19 goals, 38 assists, 57 points, +12, 70 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2003-2004 season

Comments – Overall, Sergei had a very good year and is showing himself to be one of the best offensive defensemen in the game.

Jeff Halpern

2000-01 regular season numbers – 80 games, 21 goals, 21 assists, 42 points, +13, 60 PIM

Contract Status – Restricted Free Agent

Comments – Jeff was arguably Washington’s best player during the postseason again this year, and should get a healthy raise when his contract is negotiated this off-season. Do not be surprised if sometime in the future, Halpern is named Captain of the Capitals.

Calle Johansson

2000-01 regular season numbers – 76 games, 7 goals, 29 assists, 36 points, +11, 26 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – Calle is the Capitals’ best all-around defenseman and is one of the most underrated players in the league. At age 34 he may start to slow down soon, but if Adam Oates does not return I look for Calle, Jeff Halpern, or Steve Konowalchuk to be named Captain.

Dimitri Khristich

2000-01 regular season numbers – 71 games, 13 goals, 25 assists, 38 points, even, 16 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2001-2002 season (Caps option on 2002-2003 season)

Comments – When the Capitals first acquired Dimitri, he played extremely well and averaged about a point per game for more than a dozen games. After that, his production seemed to tail off and he was a healthy scratch for several games during the playoffs. Given his history of tailing off in the playoffs, it would not be very surprising to see the Capitals attempt to trade him this season.

Ken Klee

2000-01 regular season numbers – 54 games, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -5, 60 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – Ken did not have a great year, as he was a healthy scratch several times during the season. He did not have an especially bad season, though, and can be a physical defenseman – something the Capitals need. As long as he has a solid camp, he should be on the team next year.

Olaf Kolzig

2000-01 regular season numbers – 72 games, 4279 minutes, 2.48 GAA, 37 wins, 26 losses, 8 ties, .909 save %

Contract Status – signed through 2001-2002 season

Comments – The reigning Vezina trophy winner was solid but not spectacular. Nobody can blame him for the Capitals’ early season playoff exit, as many of the Penguins’ goals were on unstoppable-type shots or just fluky goals, but that is the way the puck seems to bounce when those two teams play each other. Olie will be Washington’s #1 goaltender this year.

Steve Konowalchuk

2000-01 regular season numbers – 82 games, 24 goals, 23 assists, 47 points, +8, 87 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2003-2004 season

Comments – Steve had a career year for Washington, and in my opinion is one of the best bargains in the NHL at his salary, which averages about $1,550,000 per year over the next three years. He is a Selke-caliber grinder who is also extremely consistent, and one of the hardest-working players in the league. He will be back next season for the Capitals.

Trevor Linden

2000-01 regular season numbers – 69 games, 15 goals, 22 assists, 37 points, -2, 60 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – Although Trevor had no goals, he still had four assists in six playoff games and displayed his intense brand of playoff hockey that the Capitals decided that they needed when they acquired him. Unfortunately, Washington still lost in the first round. Trevor should be back next season, hopefully helping the Caps get a little farther.

Jason Marshall

2000-01 regular season numbers – 55 games, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, -13, 122 PIM

Contract Status – Unrestricted Free Agent

Comments – Jason never really played his way onto the Capitals’ defense, and will probably not be back next season as he is an unrestricted free agent.

Glen Metropolit

2000-01 regular season numbers – 15 games, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -2, 10 PIM

Contract Status – Restricted Free Agent

Comments – Glen stepped into Washington’s lineup when he was needed, but could not score enough to keep a starting job with the Caps. Washington will have to decide if they want to offer him a contract. His scoring really helps Portland a lot and he could energize Washington’s power play if it isn’t scoring next year. I really don’t know what McPhee plans to do about re-signing Metropolit.

Dmitri Mironov

2000-01 regular season numbers – 36 games, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, -8, 6 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2001-2002 season

Comments – A serious back injury ended Mironov’s season early this year. He had surgery but it is still not clear whether he will be able to return for next season. Even if he can return, he will have to work hard to earn a job with the Capitals because they have seven veterans who can play as well as some young guys who should challenge for a job.

Brantt Myhres

2000-01 regular season numbers – 25 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, -5, 57 PIM

Contract Status – Restricted Free Agent

Comments – Brantt was brought in this year to fight, and that is what he did for the Caps and the Pirates. The Washington Post (5/23/01) says that the Capitals will most likely not attempt to re-sign him, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Andrei Nikolishin

2000-01 regular season numbers – 81 games, 13 goals, 24 assists, 37 points, +10, 34 PIM

Contract Status – Restricted Free Agent

Comments – Andrei pretty much did what he always does, plays solid defensively but does not score that much. If he is dealt, expect the Capitals to get a left-handed shooting center back in return because Andrei is the only consistently good left-handed faceoff man on the Caps (Linden, Oates, and Halpern are all right handed shots). Andrei will most likely accept his qualifying offer so that he can come to camp on time next summer.

Adam Oates

2000-01 regular season numbers – 81 games, 13 goals, 69 assists, 82 points, -9, 28 PIM

Contract Status – Capitals’ Option ($3 million); if Capitals do not pick it up then he is a UFA

Comments – At this point, I am not even sure if the Caps know whether or not they are going to pick up Oates’s contract for next year. The Washington Times (4/25/01) stated that it is unlikely Oates will return, however the Washington Post (5/3/01) states that Oates wants to come back but no decision has been made. The only thought I really have to add to this is that the Capitals need a number one center next year, and an aging Oates would be better than rushing a prospect who has not proven himself in camp. However, if the Capitals think they can sign a Roenick or a Turgeon, they may release Oates so that they can use his $3 million salary towards the contract of one of the new free agents. Adam did have 82 points this year in the regular season (no points in the playoffs), and may be more effective in the playoffs next year if his ice time is limited during the regular season, such as what happened with Doug Gilmour in Buffalo this season. Another option would be to try to sign him for less money, although I question how receptive he would be to that idea.

Joe Reekie

2000-01 regular season numbers – 74 games, 2 goals, 9 assists, 11 points, +15, 77 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2001-2002 season

Comments – Joe led the Capitals in plus minus with a plus 15. There are a lot of young defensemen who may challenge Joe for his starting job next season, but I have a feeling that Joe will back with the Caps, even if it is as a seventh defenseman. He is a good guy to have in the locker room, is not afraid to work hard and sacrifice his body to block a shot, and could step in at any time if there is an injury.

Joe Sacco

2000-01 regular season numbers – 69 games, 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points, +3, 48 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2001-2002 season

Comments – Joe is a good fourth liner and works well in Ron Wilson’s system. He skates fast, works hard, and kills penalties well, and will most likely be back next year.

Chris Simon

2000-01 regular season numbers – 60 games, 10 goals, 10 assists, 20 points, -12, 117 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – After holding out and getting a big contract, Simon failed to deliver for the Capitals this season. A big part of the problem was his conditioning and the fact that he missed camp; he also had shoulder problems that limited his mobility. Surgery on his shoulder should help, and hopefully he will be in great shape going into camp this year so he can regain his form of the 1999-2000 season. There is a possibility that he will be dealt, but he is not in the blue light bargain isle so to speak.

Trent Whitfield

2000-01 regular season numbers – 61 games, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, +3, 35 PIM

Contract Status –

Comments – Hard work finally paid off this year for Trent Whitfield as he was called up to the Caps and stayed for the rest of the year. He will have to keep working hard to stay in the NHL, but there should be room for him as long as he does.

Brendan Witt

2000-01 regular season numbers – 72 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, +3, 101 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2001-2002 season

Comments – At the beginning of the year, Witter was angry about his contract situation, but by the playoffs, one never would have known it. He scored two goals in the playoffs, which hopefully will help him earn a larger contract after next season.

Rob Zettler

2000-01 regular season numbers – 29 games, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points, even, 55 PIM

Contract Status – Capitals’ Option; if Capitals do not pick it up then he is a UFA

Comments – For the second straight season, Rob Zettler started the season in Portland but earned a call up to Washington and finished the season there. The Capitals have informed him that they will pick up his contract for 2001-2002. (Washington Post, 5/23/01)

Danius Zubrus

2000-01 regular season numbers – 61 games, 13 goals, 13 assists, 26 points, -11, 37 PIM

Contract Status – signed through 2002-2003 season

Comments – Although Danius had no points in the playoffs, he was the only playoff plus player on the Capitals with a +/- of + 1. As for next season, the Capitals will be looking for a breakout year from the young, fast, and large Zubrus.