Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Fleischmann Re-Signed for Two Years
The Capitals are reporting that they have signed forward Tomas Fleischmann to a two-year deal (terms not disclosed).
Fleischmann -- in his first full season with the club -- is 6-15-21, -4, in 53 games. He came to camp in September without a contract and played himself into a one-year deal and onto the top line for opening night. He was a bit overwhelmed in that role and bounced among the lines for a time. He has been seeing more time on the second line with Alexander Semin and the center of the week.
This is an interesting move for the club. Fleischmann has seen modest improvement over his first two abbreviated seasons with the club (a total of 43 games, 4-6-10, -13, coming into this season). His play of late has improved, and if anything he's been a bit snakebit in terms of recording goals.
The Caps now have all six of their "top six" forwards signed for next year (assuming one includes Fleischmann in this group) -- Alex Ovechkin (through 2020-21), Alexander Semin (through 2009-10), Michael Nylander (through 2010-11), Viktor Kozlov (through 2008-09), Nicklas Backstrom (through 2009-10), and Fleischmann.
What makes this interesting is that Eric Fehr -- who might be expected to compete for a top-six spot himself -- is a restricted free agent at the end of this season. And, there is Chris Clark (he of the 30 goals last season on Ovechkin's line and who is signed through 2010-11) who can fill that top-six role, too. It makes for the kind of competitive decisions that coaches (and GM's) would rather have.