Capitals fans were happy when the club brought back Matt Niskanen from Columbus to provide some stability to the back end of their defense corps.
They didn’t really get to see much of him, but when the Caps did get a look at him, he was pretty good.
The Caps are currently ranked 22nd in the NHL in scoring with a whopping 14 goals.
But with the arrival of Niskaras, the defense has gone from being pretty solid to pretty bad.
It’s fair to say Niskalas was a bit of a disappointment.
The Capitals had one of their better defensive seasons in terms of puck possession, but the defensive zone entries and shots per 60 minutes were the lowest of any team in the league.
In terms of offensive zone entries, the Caps were the only team to have fewer than 100.
That’s the number of entries they were able to get through, and that was with Niskas in the lineup.
Niskanens numbers weren’t exactly stellar, either.
He had just five points in 53 games with the team and he only scored three goals.
What’s the problem?
Niskas first NHL season ended in a 1-3-1 record.
That didn’t help his stock and he was dealt to Columbus in the expansion draft, but that was a deal that had to be done in order to get him back on the Capitals roster.
So when the Capitals got a look in the free agent market, they decided to take a chance on Niskany.
“The opportunity to re-sign with the Capitals was one that was very tempting for us,” Niskans father, Mark, said.
“We were looking for a long-term solution.
We felt we could provide that.”
Niskany, 29, signed a one-year contract worth $3.25 million per year.
That deal would earn him $4.2 million next season, and $3 million in 2018-19.
The cap hit for this season is $5.9 million, which is pretty substantial for a guy that’s a bit over 5’9″.
Niskanas play was limited to 28 games with Columbus, but he scored five goals.
That was the highest amount of points for a defenseman in his career.
When the Capitals signed Niskannas, he said he was excited about the chance to finally be able to play in the National Hockey League again.
He said that he wasn’t looking for any big changes.”
I’m just excited to be back playing hockey again,” Nissannas said.
This season, the Capitals are ranked 24th in the Metropolitan Division with 27 points.
That is the lowest point total in the past seven seasons.
Niskandans last season was his best since the 2015-16 season when he finished the season with 39 points.
In his five seasons with the Blue Jackets, Nisknain was a plus-21, but only finished second in the League in plus-minus.
The Capitals were in a similar situation last season with Nissanas, and it didn’t work out.
He played just over a month, and he went 0-for-4 with a goal and two assists.
He also had just three points.
Niskanns return could be good news for the Capitals, but there are some questions to be asked about his performance.
He has a career record of 14-23-7, and his 5-11-1 career record is the best of his career, but it’s been one season at a time.
He is in the final year of a four-year deal worth $4 million per season.
I’m not sure how much of a role he will play in 2018, but I don’t think that he’ll be a significant piece in Washington.
If the Capitals get to sign Nisk, it would make sense to keep him around.
His offensive upside is very high, and with Nitsanas gone, the blue line is going to need a strong return.
It could also make sense for the team to keep Nisk.
The team has had a lot of success with bringing back players that have been around for a while, but they’ve also struggled to keep them.
That said, Nisks production in his first NHL year was still pretty good, and Nisk is coming off a year that saw him play just one game.
If the Caps want to keep this team together, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him getting a chance to play again.