CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Cody Eakin
HtWt: 6-0, 190
Penalty minutes: 4
Average Ice Time: 9:16
Contract Status: 2 years remaining on 3-year, 1.91 million entry-level contract 637,778 cap hit in 2012-13
Strengths: Every conversation about Eakin begins and ends with speed and if he sticks as an NHL player it will be because hes learned how to utilize it. With just four goals in his first 30 games in the NHL Eakin showed he needed some work at the pro level and responded with 13 goals and 14 assists in 43 games with the AHL Hershey Bears.
Weaknesses: Eakin added some muscle last summer but has a tendency to get pushed around, especially in the defensive zone. Since turning pro he has not been able to show the offensive flare he exhibited in his last year of junior hockey when he led Swift Current with 47 goals and 91 points two years ago.
Memorable Moment on the ice: In just his second NHL game. Eakin recorded his first goal and first assist in a 5-1 rout over the Carolina Hurricanes. His goal came off a nice feed from Alex Semin on a 2-on-1. I dont think theres a better feeling than getting that one tonight, Eakin said. Im pretty happy right now. My time here so far has been memorable and Ill remember this.
Memorable Moment off the ice: After netting his first career goal Eakin was in the locker room answering questions from reporters when Alex Ovechkin swooped in from behind and smothered his face with a towel filled with blue gel shaving cream. My eyes are burning a little bit, said Eakin, who was wearing contact lenses at the time of Ovechkins ambush. They got me good. Eyes wide open.
2012-13 Expectations: The Capitals can go one of two ways with Eakin. They can give him a spot on the 2012-13 roster and hope he develops into a 15-20-goal scorer at the NHL level. Or they can include him in a trade package over the summer that nets them an offensive weapon up front or a hard-hitting defenseman on the back end.
Friday's trade with the Colorado Avalanche seemed to mark the end of Brooks Orpik's time with the Washington Capitals. But that may not actually be the case.
Trading away Orpik also meant trading away his $5.5 million cap hit. That is not an insignificant amount of money especially for a team trying to re-sign defenseman John Carlson to a big-money contract.
But Orpik will not be playing out the final year of his contract in Colorado. The Avalanche placed Orpik on unconditional waivers Saturday for the purpose of a buyout, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.
For a 37-year-old defenseman who does not boast great mobility or speed, a $5.5 million cap hit was a bit too steep for the Caps who were very close to the cap ceiling last season and who need that extra money to re-sign their free agents. But the team did value Orpik's leadership and that could be especially important as young defensemen Madison Bowey and Christian Djoos continue developing plus prospects Jonas Siegenthaler, Lucas Johansen and Connor Hobbs all try to work themselves into contention for a spot on the NHL roster.
If Orpik does return, it will be a masterstroke for general manager Brian MacLellan. MacLellan freed up a lot of cap space to re-sign Carlson without having to buy out Orpik's contract, but could still possibly keep him on the roster at a much-reduced cost.
After a strong playoff performance, there may be other teams vying for Orpik's services next season. Getting traded to get bought out likely isn't a good feeling, but considering he just won a Stanley Cup in Washington, the defensive guru Todd Reirden is expected to be promoted to head coach and that re-signing with the Caps would mean not moving his family for what could very possibly and will very likely be the last contract of his NHL career, there are a lot of reasons why it would make sense for both the team and the player if Orpik stayed with the Caps.
The Caps made seven selections in the 2018 Draft this weekend. The group featured three defensemen, three forwards and a goalie. Interestingly, a couple of the picks have fathers who enjoyed lengthy NHL careers.
Meet the newest prospects:
1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds
The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.
Alexander Alexeyev’s teammates in Russia nicknamed him “poker face” because of his poise with the puck. And, yeah, he asked Alex Ovechkin about the fountain celebration during their FaceTime conversation yesterday. Haha. #ALLCAPSpic.twitter.com/iVguNmidFq
Wendel Clark was mowing the lawn at his Muskoka cottage when son Kody came running outside to tell dad he'd been picked No. 47 by Stanley Cup-champion #caps. "It's more exciting than when I was picked (1st overall, #leafs, '85)," Wendel said. "It's part of being a dad." #tmltalk
“Watching both of those young men play, they do a lot of the little things properly.” — #ALLCAPS Assistant GM Ross Mahoney on Kody Clark and Riley Sutter, both the sons of longtime NHLers (Wendel Clark and Ron Sutter). pic.twitter.com/aK9d1FnJvB
A Harvard commit, Gibson posted a 1.59 GAA and .935 save percentage in the NAHL last season.
Gibson is a Harvard commit from the Philly suburbs. He joked that he'll know his way around KCI at Dev Camp next week, having played for Valley Forge, Team Comcast, etc. in the @AYHL. So he faced the @LittleCapitals a lot.