The Washington Capitals may have just won their first Cup in franchise history and are in decent position to have another good year, but they certainly did something extremely questionable on July 27.
Caps’ general manager Brian MacLellan signed forward Tom Wilson to a six-year deal worth $31 million. Yes, you read that right.
Now, there will probably be those who think this is a good signing. Wilson, 24, has proven to be a solid and versatile player who can contribute offense here and there, provide a ton of physicality, and stick up for his teammates.
Supporters of this signing will also point out that he picked-up 15 points in the playoffs last year playing on the top line. Those are obviously good numbers for a player of Wilson’s caliber.
While all of the above mentioned positives regarding Wilson are good to note, they really do not tell the whole story. The truth is that Wilson is nowhere close to being worth this much money.
MacLellan probably thinks that Wilson is going to turn into Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand. I’m sorry, but that is NOT going to happen. Yes, like Wilson, Marchand is a very physical player and is someone who will protect his teammates. With that said, Marchand brings so much more to the table than Wilson.
Unlike Wilson, Marchand, 30, is an offensive machine. He can put the puck in the net (226 career goals), set up his teammates (459 career assists), score big goals (42 career game winning goals) and be a huge contributor on special teams whether it is as an effective penalty killer or as someone who can significantly impact his team’s power play (72 career power play points).
I’m sorry, but Wilson is none of those things. He’s not an elite offensive talent, he’s not someone who can be relied on to score a big goal for his team when he needs one, and unlike Marchand, he can’t bring both physical play and offensive play every night. More often than not, he only relies on being physical to make an impact for his hockey club.
Secondly, the Caps essentially gave this contract to an enforcer. Yes, he’s now a Cup winner, and yes, he’s still young, but I figured MacLellan would want to save that money to re-sign more worthy players in his organization or future free agents.
Instead, the Caps now have a guy with a $5.17 million per year cap hit. Am I the only one that thinks this is crazy?
Lastly, he is an extremely controversial player. He throws a lot of dirty hits, does stuff behind the play, and spends a lot of time in the penalty box.
With that in mind, the Caps are paying this ridiculous amount of money who has over 800 career penalty minutes in 391 games. They are also paying this kind of money to a player that has a history of suspensions.
In my eyes, this is not a smart signing. Wilson is not worth that kind of money and unfortunately for the Caps and their fans, they will find that out in due time.
Photo: Sporting News