The Capitals were extremely active this first day of free agency, and we made major moves to improve our defense. We added offense, versatility and experience in defenseman Matt Niskanen and signed a shutdown D-man in Brooks Orpik.
Niskanen had a breakthrough season, notching 10 goals and 36 assists and +33 rating, tops among NHL defensemen. At 27-years-old, we feel he is entering the prime of his career. We have seen Orpik up close for several years and know what a tenacious defender he is. He also is a tremendous leader, who is physical, plays against the opponent’s best players ever night and has proven to be great penalty killer.
Priority No. 1 was to upgrade our defense, and we made significant strides today.
Earlier in the day we signed goaltender Justin Peters, who had a 2.50 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 21 games last year. We feel he will complement Braden Holtby.
There is plenty of content on Monumental Network – dive in here:
General Manager Brian MacLellan news conference
Watch Brooks Orpik highlights
Orpik conference call
Niskanen conference call
Peters conference call
Assistant coach Todd Reirden on Orpik and Niskanen signings conference call
And in case you missed it the prior day, here’s a look at our new assistant coaches.