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.


dmg said...

I like it. Not a big commitment on the Caps part in terms of money or length and it makes it so that Flash, Fehr, Bourque, Clark and perhaps even Bouchard can fight it out for the last spot on the top two lines. One of them has to be able to get it done, right?

Hooks Orpik said...

I was surprised not that they re-signed Flash, but I would have thought maybe they would continue to evaluate him until the end of the season before deciding. I guess obviously they like what they've seen.

DMG: Yeah, two of the names you mentioned will probably round out the top 6 for next year (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin and Nylander being the ones locked in). My guess is I guess guys like Clark and even Fehr could be effective on a 3rd line, which it looks like one of them will be. But a lot can change on the depth chart from now until then.