Sunday, July 01, 2007

Caps Sign Poti

The Caps have taken their first dip in the 2007 free agent pool by signing Tom "Pokecheck" Poti to a 4-year/$3.5 million deal.

Poti is the powerplay quarterback the team has been searching for, but isn't exactly well known for his defensive play. Per TSN.ca, Poti "[p]resents a tremendous physical package with a very heavy shot, great size and mobility" and "[h]as outstanding offensive upside," but "[h]as a tendency to complicate matters in the defensive zone" and "[m]ust work on his play without the puck and use his size more to keep forwards honest."

UPDATE: Spector's thoughts on the Poti signing:
One of the off-season requirement for the Washington Capitals was a puckmoving blueliner and they addressed that need Sunday, signing former NY Islanders blueliner Tom Poti to a four-year contract worth $3.5 million per season.

Poti is a very good offensive blueliner but his size and skills have always left fans in his former NHL stops wanting more. He’s not overly physical but there’s no denying that his offensive skills could make him a welcome addition to the Capitals, particularly on the power play.

He’s had two 40+ point seasons, the latest being last season with the Islanders, where he earned praise for his improvement defensively, so hopefully he’ll carry that over to the Caps next season.

At the very least, he’ll provide the Capitals with the PP quarterback they’ve lacked since Sergei Gonchar left town several years ago. Only 30, he should be in his prime now, which could make this a good, affordable signing for the Caps.

With the puckmoving defenseman now acquired, Caps GM George McPhee must now turn his attention toward a good playmaking center for Alexander Ovechkin's line.
UPDATE: Mirtle's thoughts:
Tom Poti has been signed by Washington to a four-year, $14-million contract. Poti will anchor the power play as the team's quarterback, and represents a substantial upgrade over the young crew the team had in place last season.

Poti had a terrific year with the Islanders in 2006-07, and I'm not surprised he signed for those terms.

He's been much-maligned over his career for a penchant for defensive gaffes, but Poti limited those miscues last season with New York and emerged as a legitimate No. 1 power-play quarterback with 44 points in 78 games.

The Capitals have a lot of cap space and are looking to really improve their lineup this summer, and I expect this to be the first of a few moves for GM George McPhee. Owner Ted Leonsis has made overtures about picking up a few free agents, including a first-line centre.

64 comments:

Tyler said...

Seeing as we have a Poti thread, I'll repeat myself: That's the early leader for worst signing of the day. And it's by our team. I'm officially depressed. That's Scott Hannan money for a Lawrence Nycholat player.

Tyler said...

(And I predict that we'll have a new poll up on Japers' Rink any minute now...)

JP said...

Well, he's an upgrade, no doubt, and will help the powerplay. Pair him with a solid defensive guy and it could work. He's only 30 and American.

Yes, he's overpaid. But I'm slowly warming to it.

Anonymous said...

Man McPhee cant sign D men worth shit. Mirinov, Pothier and now Poti. What a joke.

JP said...

Oh, and I hope Boumedienne didn't put a down payment on any houses in the area.

Tyler said...

Uh, why? He has 58 assists in his last 151 games. That's not exactly setting the world on fire for a guy who's not a defensive D-man.

And four years for a guy who's been run outta three NHL cities is completely whacked. Four years for Hannan: Yes. Poti?

Tyler said...

I mean, Eminger, Poti, what's the diff? I'm beginning to believe the Eminger+Something = Marleau rumors.

JP said...

I agree that it's too long and too much, but it's an upgrade and we've been saying it all along - the Caps will have to overpay for what they want. This is an example of that.

And for all of his defensive shortcomings, the guy is +12 for his career and hasn't exactly been playing on great teams.

kb said...

Another year, another FA signing of a Masshole defenseman (Pothier is from New Bedford, MA).

May the Caps sign another Nutmegger to keep Clark company. We can dream.

Murshawrusha said...

Christ... What does it take to pleasee you people? I'm pretty sure we could sign Drury and people would still complain GMGM screwed up somehow.

He's certainly an upgrade over what we have now. Yeah, it's a huge amount of money, but we're not at all in cap trouble.

Tyler said...

Agreed JP, but when you overpay, for whom you overpay is all the more critical.

I say this as an Eminger fan: Compare Eminger at 22-23 to Poti at 22-23. Eerily similar. And both are poke-checkers.

Tyler said...

Rafalski: DET? Schneider just signed with ANA, so looks like there's a retirement in the offing...

JP said...

Poti was tied for 20th in defenseman scoring last year on a middle-of-the-pack team (scoring-wise, at least).

From most accounts his defense has improved since his Ranger days.

I'm sipping the Kool-Aid - not quite ready to take a big gulp, though.

Anonymous said...

And how many of our defensemen scored 44 points last year?

JP said...

And how many of our defensemen scored 44 points last year?

Two - Pothier and Eminger. What? You didn't mean combined? :)

Tyler said...

Sportsnet.ca voters tend to agree with you: Is it a good signing 48-42% say yes so far.

Anonymous said...

every d we have has good offensive skill and potential but shaky in their own zone..... RAFALSKI!!!!!!

Joe said...

Briere to Philly per Sportsnet.ca

Tyler said...

WFAN: Gomez to NYR.

Anonymous said...

oh my god i feel like the world is caving in on me

JP said...

I guess you guys just treat the most recent thread as an open thread, eh? Oh well.

And Gomez signing with the Rags isn't the end of the world - it means the Caps can sign Nylander.

Joe said...

Philly gave Briere 8 years $52 Million

Anonymous said...

i would take nylander in a second, leaves us money for another d or rw, or both

Tyler said...

Agreed. If I have to read one more person on Tarik's blog moan that the Caps aren't spending $8M/year on a center I'm going to stop reading Tarik's blog. Nylander fits the Caps' salary structure perfectly. I wish he were a little bigger, maybe a little better in the D-zone, but all-in-all he's a good fit (again).

JP said...

Sarich to the Flames for 5 years/$18m. Makes the Poti deal look much better, imo.

Tyler said...

Re: Open threads. With FA, it's all inter-co-related.

Joe said...

Cory Sarich was signed by Calgary. I'm going to miss OV making him look like a pylon 8 times a year.

Joe said...

Poti made $2.75 million last year... Its not like we gave him a huge raise.

Anonymous said...

From TSN: Brian Rafalski agrees to a five year, $30 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings.

Anonymous said...

good point j.p., sarich has never had a 20 point season, hes a career minus player, and hes making more per year than poti, for more years. he does stay pretty damn healthy though, playing every single game for the last for seasons (328 straight). that wouldnt make me feel any better though if i were a flames fan.

Tyler said...

On Sarich: Agreed. Confused. I think of Sarich as a 4/5 and Poti as a 4. CGY must figure that Sarich is a Keenan guy and that his stats will improve if he doesn't have to face Ovechkin.

Tyler said...

Tarik is talking pairings.

Poti-Shaone
Potsy-Jurcina
Eminger/Green/Schultz (and, I suppose, Erskine, Boumer) competing for 5-6.

I think that's about right... tho it makes me wish Alzner was AHL-eligible.

Chimaera said...

What's Regehr think about his contract now that Sarich is on board?

Tyler said...

He's thinking: I'm a UFA in 364 days, 363...

Anonymous said...

According to the fourthperiod.com Washington is going after Nylander pretty hard.

JP said...

Alright, guys - I'm off to dinner and a movie (my dad's b-day). Hold down the fort while I'm gone.

Tyler said...

I haven't been reading them (4thP) today; how's their track record been?

Anonymous said...

Tyler,
They are running a real time update that seems to have a lot of insight. They're last post said NJ may be looking at Pat Quinn as head coach.

Tyler said...

Nylander is good with me.

Gosh. Control freak Pat Q. and uber-control freak Lou L.? That has train wreck written all over it!

Murshawursha said...

From The Forth Period:

5:50pm - The Capitals have spoken to Alexei Yashin over the past few days and are interested in him, but will wait to see how the rest of today unfolds before possibly moving forward.

Meh, if we can't get Nylander and the Marleu trade rumors are false, I'd take him.

ted said...

Poti is a respectable acquisition. I think the Caps were looking to immediately improve the power play, and based on last years performance, I think it will improve.

Kinda glad to see Danielle go to Philly, now it gives me even more reason to boo him when he comes to the booth.

GameMisconduct said...

How in the hell did the Rangers manage to get both Drury and Gomez.

Jeff said...

Caps just signed Kozlov.

ted said...

Not sure how they got them both. With Jagr's subsidy by the Caps expiring this year, it will be interesting to see how they can fill the rest of the roster.

Rangers will be potent with that kind of play-making down the center on two lines. Nylander is definitely looking for employment now.

Not sure what to think about Kozlov yet.

mike s said...

apparently kozlov 2.5/year for 2 years, good deal i think, 25 goals last season 26 assists....played with ovy before...does this mean we wont go after nylander?

GameMisconduct said...

Is Kozlov our RW or C signing? That's what I'm trying to figure out.

NS said...

I guess that depends if Caps can get Nylander/other respectable center. Happy with the Kozlov deal.

ted said...

I would like to hope GMGM isn't done yet. Kozlov is a half a point per game player throughout his career. Probably a better winger than pivot. Could GM be thinking he will be used on the second line opposite Semin? Ovie would certainly help with his point production though.

As of now, the top tier UFA pivots are gone. Nylander would still be a great pickup.

Yahsin and Allison are still available as well.

NS said...

i remember reading that the Caps need to add 3-4 players, so we'll probably have at least one more signing.

Chimaera said...

I kinda think they'll have one or two more to sign up. I also think they'll still look to make a trade as well.

they have a glut of defenders and will have to find a spot for one or two. Though that type of move probably will come in training camp.

GameMisconduct said...

The Islander strike back in anger for stealing two of their players- they have signed Jon Sim to a three year deal.

ted said...

Too bad on the Sim deal. I was hoping he'd go to a Western team that would only play the Caps once every two years. At least we only have to face him 5 times instead of seven.

Anonymous said...

4 instead of 8 i think

ted said...

I think you're right: 4 vs 8.

mike said...

has anyone heard anything about lang? isnt he UFA? If nylander/yashin didnt work out-is he an option or is he too pricy?

Tyler said...

They're still probably about $3M under the floor.

Tyler said...

And I think Kozlov at C or RW depends on what else happens this off-season. One reason that he's a good signing is that he fits at either spot.

Anonymous said...

where is our #1 center(nylander)

Wes said...

I'll start off by saying that I do love the Caps.... they have been my home team all my life. I'm a realist though, which also stands for honesty. That being said, I really want to still be a Caps fan for this upcoming season.

Actually, I think the Caps did okay for the money with Poti. I like the Kozlov deal too. But to see Briere and Drury snatched immediately is disheartening. At least the Caps could have made it SEEM like they were trying for those two. Your previous post about the "salary room" has been my thesis for this off-season. And the team still seems to have no clue. Can I apply for George McPhee's position? Dare I say it, the Caps should take notes from what the Flyers have been doing, as I also see that they have now added Jason Smith and Lupul.

At least the super-center Scott Gomez is left.... oh wait.

ted said...

Mike:

I think Lang is 36 or 37 and had a relatively poor showing in the playoffs. I still would consider him an upgrade at Center and maybe if no one signs him, he might come at a good price.

Another former Cap is out there too as I hear Allison is trying to make a comeback. Although he's a little slow for the new NHL, he still has great hands and can dish the puck with the best. Could be a sleeper pickup if the rest go elsewhere.

So many former Caps to choose from. Odds are good we'll see at least one of them back.

mike said...

ted-thanks for the info...yea allison would come cheap and he seems like he's really motivated to do well...i would like to see
nylander, if not then yashin, if not both of them then allison or lang....

mike said...

wes-i am glad we don't do what the flyers do, that deal for the two preds' def was ridiculous and the briere deal is the same, 8 years? i am glad we are not breaking the bank on one guy or two guys if your the rangers....everyone was mad that we didn't spend a bunch on chara last year and we saw how that helped the bruins out, with a solid stay at home d, a strong center that can help backstrom out and maybe a decent winger like kozlov (maybe the other kozlov or zubie) we will be solid, 7 20+ goal scorers, solid D with a great future (green, shultz, alzner) great checking line with pett/gordon/laich and olie-i'm much happier to be a caps fan than flyers or rangers..

Wes said...

Mike - agreed that we don't need to overpay, but with the cap room we have, we can at least take a shot at some names this season. Otherwise, every good name will get picked right off the board, just as I've feared.

I'm at least hoping we didn't opt for the "cheaper alternative" in Poti over Souray.

Tyler said...

We have cap room now: Semin, OV, etc. due big raises starting next year.