For Tom Poti, it has been over a year since he has set foot on the ice in a game for the Washington Capitals. The 34-year-old defenseman has yet to be with the team at all this year, over halfway through the season, but is still trying to rehab his lingering groin injury on his own. Based on comments by Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee, there is little hope that Poti will ever return.
“Tom’s been working at it and improving but I don’t know if he’ll ever get to the point where he can play again. As I said in the summer, we weren’t counting on it.” – Capitals GM George McPhee
Poti only played 21 games during the 2010-2011 season and was in and out of the lineup due to his lingering groin strain. The last time he appeared in a game was January 12, 2011 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a game in which he was forced to leave after his injury flared up. The veteran defenseman has been on the Long Term IR this entire season .
The Capitals signed Poti to a two-year contract extension prior to the 2010-2011, with him on contract through the 2012-2013season, with a cap hit of $2.875 million. It now appears that he won’t play in either season of that extension. With him on the Long Term IR offers relief of his cap hit if the Capitals were to exceed going over the salary cap ceiling. Under the current bargaining agreement, which will expire this summer, injured players contracts cannot be bought out.
As for Poti, he should just retire at this point. There is no hope for him to return the to level he was at, and in all seriousness, he is past his prime as a player in the NHL at this point. It is a young league, being controlled by the players that are 27 and younger.