Knock knock. Is George McPhee there?
Though Washington Capital’s fans were hoping for something more, at least they know their General Manager was awake and working on July 1st.
Yesterday, the start of the free agency, McPhee signed three players to a one-year contract. The financial terms of the contracts are still confidential following club policy.
McPhee ended up signing right winger Joey Crabb who came off a career-high performance with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored 11 goals, 15 assists and played in 67 games last season. Those are mediocre stats that fit the qualifications of a player who will play on the fourth line for the Capitals. I honestly think that the Caps have enough players that already fulfill what Crabb has to offer. Though, you can’t have enough players who have a strong work ethic with size and grit. McPhee needs to man-up and make a splash during free agency. The Caps need a proven, skilled, top-six forward. They shouldn’t be wasting their time or cap space on players like Crabb; period.
Also yesterday, the Washington Capitals signed defensemen Garrett Stafford and Kevin Marshall. Both of the players spent most of their careers in the minors. Stafford, a native of Los Angeles, had two assists in seven NHL games with Detroit, Dallas, and Phoenix. Marshall, a Flyers second-round pick in the 2007 draft, only registered eight penalty minutes in 10 games with Philadelphia.
Stafford and Marshall will most likely get sent down to the Caps minor league team, the Hershey Bears, so Orlov can play a more constant role in Washington. Crabb appeared to be somewhat of a fan favorite in Toronto with his contributions to their penalty kill and his consistent work ethic. I’m now curious to watch Crabb play a few shifts considering that I’ve read a few Leafs fans who’ve vouched for the guy. He would be a good addition to the fourth line alongside Hendricks and Beagle.
Now McPhee, don’t pump the brakes so much and think cruising by with these minor signings will suffice. Caps fans, including myself, are expecting you to make some sort of splash during free agency. If not, this team is doomed to have the same fate where dominating during the regular season equates to an early exit in the postseason. Hands down, the Washington Capitals are the San Jose Sharks of the East and that needs to change.
And with the roster as it stands, that’s exactly where the Caps are headed to; again.