Perhaps the most overlooked offseason acquisition of the Capitals, defenseman Taylor Chorney has signed a two-year, $1.6 million contract extension with the Capitals; he’ll earn $775,000 in the first year of the deal, and $825,000 in the final year of the deal.
Signed to be the team’s seventh defenseman, Chorney stepped up in the wake of top-pairing blueliner Brooks Orpik’s injury that sidelined the veteran defenseman for 40 games. Chorney played well on the third-pairing, recording five assists (a career-high) while averaging 12:54 minutes of ice time and earning a plus-11 in 45 games played this season. Chorney also was plus or even in 34 of his 45 games played.
Drafted 36th overall in 2005 by the Edmonton Oilers, Chorney struggled in Edmonton and became something of a journeyman, playing for three different organizations (Edmonton, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh) before landing in Washington. Perhaps Chorney’s struggles were a result of a lack of the maturity that NHL players have to have, or perhaps it was due to trouble adapting to the NHL game. Whatever the reason, Chorney has clearly found a home in DC. Working with renowned defensive coach Todd Reirden, Chorney has become a much better defenseman and he earned himself some penalty killing time in Orpik’s absence.
Some have speculated that perhaps Chorney’s extension is so he can be used as a trade chip at the Trade Deadline. However, he has settled in nicely with Washington and he and his wife are expecting their first child any day now, according to CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley. Chorney has worked hard and is well-deserving of this contract.
By Michael Fleetwood