Monday, July 2, 2007

Caps add Kozlov, Poti

Two solid moves by the Caps yesterday. While Philadelphia and New York were busy breaking the bank, the Caps made more modest signings to address their biggest needs.

To add experience and a legitimate power play threat on the blueline, the Caps inked 30 year old Tom Poti to a four year deal averaging 3.5 mil per year. While he may not be the physical force the Caps need, he is an experienced top four defenseman with an all-star selections. He moves well and has an absolute cannon from the point, which should keep penalty killers honest when pressuring either him or Pothier (if that ends up being the Caps power play defensive pairing). All in all, a very good signing for a very reasonable price.

After the signing of Poti, the Caps added a second former Islander in forward Viktor Kozlov to a contract averaging 2.5 mil over 2 years. While Kozlov is capable of playing all three forward positions, at this point it looks like he'll be playing the pivot, which is not his strongest spot. Still, he's an appreciable upgrade to our current group of centers. If the Caps sign another center, it's possible they might move Kozlov to the right wing. The fact that the Caps now have that option is important in that they can now go after whichever player makes most sense at either center or right wing, knowing that Kolzov can be moved to whatever position is not filled.

All in all, I'd say the Caps made two solid signings that will make for a stronger team next year. They filled their two biggest needs, and they still have plenty of Cap room, although I don't expect them to make more than one big move since they'll need that cash to lock up Ovechkin and Semin after this season when they become RFAs. If you had to grade their moves up to this point, they'd get a solid B+. If they add another solid player at either center, right wing, or defense, they move into the A range.

Caps fans, it's time to start getting fired up. The elements for a solid playoff team are coming together.

Also, it may be time to stop selling peanuts at the concessions stand.

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