As the offseason begins, we’ll take a player-by-player look at the year that was for the Washington Capitals.
Contract status: $800,000 in 2010-11, unrestricted free agent this summer.
The year that was: At the trade deadline, the Capitals opted to send one of their faceoff and penalty-killing specialists to another team. Washington kept Boyd Gordon, though, and the longest-tenured Capital seemed to excel in being the go-to player in those roles.
Gordon finished the regular season having won 58 percent of his draws, and in the postseason that increased to a 68 percent success rate (77 of 112). That still stands as best in the playoffs, even though the Capitals have been eliminated.
Also in the playoffs, Gordon was on the ice for an average of 0.70 goals per 60 minutes at even strength, second best on the team. The center took what would appear to be an uncharacteristically high number of penalties in the postseason, however, with three minors in nine games compared to eight in 60 of the regular season.
After being limited by injuries for all but 36 games in 2009-10, Gordon was for the most part healthy this year. He had surgery on his toe after developing a staph infection and missed time at the beginning of the year but once that was taken care of Gordon was an expected part of the lineup.
“Last season was kind of a tough year injury-wise, but you get used to dealing with things and improving on them and I’m 10 times better off where I was, say, the beginning of last year and even this season,” Gordon said on the day of exit interviews. “You get to learn your body, so I don’t foresee any of my injuries being a problem.”
Looking ahead: Gordon said he is “definitely interested” in remaining with the Capitals, the team that drafted him 17th overall in the 2002 draft. Depending on what other moves General Manager George McPhee makes, there’s no reason not to believe that Gordon may be just as good of a fit as he’s ever been as one of the Capitals’ primary penalty killers and faceoff specialists – if his health holds up.