NHL Notebook: Washington Capitals sign Tom Wilson to mammoth seven-year deal and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel to miss start of year

Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
11 months ago
The Washington Captials signed long-time forward Tom Wilson to a mammoth seven-year contract on Friday morning.
The deal will pay the 10-year veteran $6.5-million per year through his age 36 season.
Drafted by the Capitals 16th overall in the 2012 draft, Wilson missed a good portion of last season as he recovered from ACL surgery. Still, he played in 33 games scoring 13 goals and 22 points.
A jack-of-many-trades but master of none, Wilson has been a staple in the Capitals’ top-six scoring career highs in goals (24) and points (52) in the 2021-22 season and is widely considered to be one of the last true power forwards in the game today.
“Tom possesses all the intangibles needed to win in this League, and we are extremely pleased to sign him to a long-term contract, giving him the opportunity to finish his career in a Capitals’ uniform,” Capitals GM Brian McLellan said in a statement.
The deal jumps off the page as a shocker for a player of his type, but shrewd Oilers commentator Darcy McLeod’s take on the contract was spot on.
“What Washington is doing looks like they decided to ‘sign our most liked players for too long so people will come to the rink while we aren’t good and Ovi is chasing Gretzky. We’ll get high picks for ~5 years and re-load while keeping fans somewhat happy during the downswing.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Guentzel out

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who just days ago announced Kyle Dubas as the club’s full-time general manager, announced Friday that forward Jake Guentzel will miss the start of the season.
The winger underwent surgery on his right ankle on August 2nd, and is set to be re-evaluated in 12 weeks.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis:
Guentzel has made his mark as one of the most important players for the Penguins, scoring 36 goals and 73 points in 78 games. It was the third-highest output of his career, with his 40-goal, 84-point run in 2021-22 being at the top. Guentzel is a two-time 40-goal scorer, and Sidney Crosby’s left-hand man for the better part of a decade.
Drafted 77th overall in 2013, Guentzel has 197 and 414 points in 453 games, while recording at least 70 point three times in his career. He also had over a point per game in 2019-20 and 2020-21, seasons that were limited, game-wise, due to injuries and COVID-19, respectively.
Guentzel is set to enter the final year of a five-season contract worth $6 million per season. The team will be able to put his cap hit on long-term injured reserve to start the season. But as CapFriendly points out, it’s only a short-term injury, so it won’t solve the team’s cap issues.
The team is currently $3.216 million over the cap, but CapFriendly has the team being at $2.783 million with Guentzel on LTIR. Assuming everyone else is healthy once Guentzel returns, new GM Kyle Dubas will still need to make moves to make the team cap compliant.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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