Capitals Sign Wojtek Wolski
By Stephen London
The Washington Capitals made another splash in the free-agency market yesterday as vice president and general manager George McPhee announced the signing of left winger Wojtek Wolski to a one-year deal. Wolski, 26, has already spent time with four teams during his young career --the Colorado Avalanche, the team that drafted him; the Phoenix Coyotes; the New York Rangers; and the Florida Panthers.
During 29 career playoff games, Wolski tallied 17 points (eight goals, 11 assists). The Polish-Canadian has played in 424 NHL games, in which he compiled 258 points (95 goals, 163 assists). The only season Wolski did not score more than 10 goals was the most recent one, when he played only 31 games due to suffering a sports hernia.
Wolski, the Avalanche's first-round pick in 2004, was signed to a league veteran-minimum contract worth $600,000 for one year. The winger adds some scoring depth to the Capitals if he stays healthy. Also, if Alex Semin decides to leave the Capitals -- which is likely -- Wolski will be a good second-line scorer in Semin's position.
If Mike Ribeiro centers the second line, Wolski stays healthy and a player such as Troy Brouwer or Marcus Johansson steps up his scoring, then the Capitals' second line will be one of the best in the NHL.
This week, the Caps are holding a development camp for their draft picks and prospects. Although there is plenty of hype surrounding certain prospects, such as first-round pick Filip Forsberg, some prospects have surprised.
Stanislav Galiev and Barry Almeida have stood out throughout the camp. Galiev was out almost all of last season with a broken wrist, but has met with McPhee to see where he fits in the organization for the 2012-13 season.
Almeida was not a highly sought-after prospect, although he won a national championship with Boston College. After the Hershey Bears signed him, Almeida scored a goal during his first professional game. Even though Almeida is undersized, at 5-foot-8, he is an all-around player and does not shy away from any sort of contact.
Andreas Martinsen has been turning heads with his speed as well as his stickhandling. A 22-year-old-Norwegian forward, Martinsen has a knack for controlling the puck as well as his body. He is 6-foot-3, and can be physical if he wants to be, which could be beneficial to the Capitals. These and other prospects will be showcasing the skills during two Thursday scrimmages and two Friday scrimmages.
Posted July 12, 2012