For the past three weeks CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley has evaluated the 2012-13 performance of each player on the Caps roster. Today, we conclude the series with Wojtek Wolski:
Position: Left Wing
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 215
Penalty Minutes: 6
Average Ice Time: 13:21
Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent [$600,000 cap hit in 2012-13]
Strengths: Wolski’s size and skill level intrigued Caps general manager George McPhee enough for the Caps to sign him to a low-risk, one-year contract last summer. A first-round pick of the Avalanche in 2004, Wolski averaged 19 goals and 51 points in his first four seasons in the NHL, but his career went south after that and hit rock bottom this season.
Weaknesses: Wolski simply didn’t put up the numbers the Caps had hoped for when they signed him and as a result he didn’t take advantage of his opportunity to be a top six forward. He saw limited time on the power play, no time on the penalty kill and ended the season watching 19 of the Caps’ final 23 games and all seven playoff games from the press box.
Memorable Moment: Aside from the open net he missed in a 5-1 win over the Devils on Feb. 23, Wolski’s most unprophetic moment came during a conference call with reporters last summer when he was asked if his career was at a crossroads. “This upcoming year is a great time for me to bounce back and show I’m still a great player and I still have a lot of life left in me,” he said. “I’m simply at a point in my career where I want to accomplish something. I’ve got to make it work and I think I’m ready and able and it’s going to be a great year.”
2013-14 Expectations: Wolski was so convinced he would not play in the NHL next season that he signed to play with Torpedo of the Kontinental Hockey League one week after the Caps were eliminated from the playoffs.