WASHINGTON — Signaling that the Capitals front office is unlikely to abandon the talent pool it has assembled in Washington, the organization made its first major move of the offseason, re-signing right wing T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46 million deal.
Oshie celebrated the news on Twitter, shedding some light on the deciding factors:
Oshie set career highs for goals in both of his seasons in Washington, tying for the team lead last season with 33. In 148 career games with the Capitals, Oshie has earned 107 points (59 goals, 48 assists).
He led the NHL in shooting percentage (23.1%) in 2016-17. His 33 goals marked the first time a Capitals player other than Alex Ovechkin scored 30 goals in a season since 2009-10.
Weeks ago, MacLellan told the media that re-signing the team’s restricted free agents was the highest priority, making Oshie’s future uncertain. His hope was that the league would decide to raise the salary cap a full 5 percent, thus giving the team nearly $77 million in space.
Instead, the cap was raised to just $75 million, but Oshie was made a priority anyway.
“T.J. is an invaluable member of our team and we felt it was imperative for us to re-sign him in a competitive free agent market,” general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement released by the team. “T.J. is a highly competitive player with a tremendous skill set; he epitomizes the kind of player our team must have in order for us to continue to put ourselves in a position to compete in this League.”
MacLellan spoke to the media before the 2017 NHL Draft on Friday night and outlined the team’s logic making Oshie a priority:
Many Capitals insiders speculated that Oshie could seek as much as $6-7 million per year. This contract should help the Caps in that regard:
The contract is slated to keep Oshie in Capitals red for the rest of his career, a gamble that any team must make with a player over the age of 30. MacLellan brushed off such considerations at this point: