Capitals' final report cards: Steve Oleksy

Capitals' final report cards: Steve Oleksy
May 20, 2014, 8:30 am
Share This Post Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Steve Oleksy

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Age: 28 [turns 29 Feb. 4]

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 190

Games: 33

Goals: 2

Assists: 8

Points: 10

Penalty minutes: 53

Plus-Minus: Plus-7

Average Ice Time: 15:15

Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 3-year, $1.625 million contract [$541,667 cap hit, $550,000 salary]

Strengths: Oleksy hits hard, battles hard along the boards, fights when needed and has a knack for getting pucks though shooting lanes and on net. He also finished with a plus-7, tied with Joel Ward for the team lead. If you take Oleksy’s numbers and factor them into an 82-game season, he would have finished third behind Mike Green and John Carlson among Caps defensemen in goals [5] and points [25], first among all Caps in plus-minus [plus-17] and second behind Tom Wilson in penalty minutes [132].

Weaknesses: So why didn’t Oleksy play for the Capitals after Jan. 4 and why was he placed on waivers on Jan. 20? Because head coach Adam Oates believed someone else with a right-handed shot – namely Tyson Strachan, Patrick Wey or Connor Carrick -- could do a better job of moving the puck out of the defensive zone and into the hands of the Caps’ forwards. As a result, Oleksy spent the final three months of the season with the Hershey Bears, where he recorded a less than inspiring zero goals, six assists, 39 penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.

Memorable Moment: Oleksy got into six fights this season, three with the Caps and three with the Bears. His most memorable came on Nov. 1 in the Caps’ 7-0 rout over the Flyers in Philadelphia when he rocked Vinny Lecavalier during an infamous line brawl featuring Ray Emery pounding Braden Holtby in a one-sided fight. Lecavalier sat out the next game with injuries incurred in the fight.

Quotable: “I wish I had more than 140 characters and could personally thank everyone individually but this is the best I could do. I just want to give everyone a shout out that has shown their support not just in the last 24 hours but at any point in time. The people in my life and fans are truly the most underrated and most important part of this business. Just know for me you are a driving force and inspiration behind it all and make smiling easy even on the cloudiest days. Thank you all. Cheers.” Twitter message from Oleksy before he cleared waivers on Jan. 21

2014-15 Expectations: The good thing for Oleksy is that he is under contract with the Capitals for another year and he’ll have new general manager and coaching staff to impress. That means a clean slate for one of the more popular Caps’ defensemen, who has spent the majority of his six-year pro career in the minors.