Top 5 Free Agent Signings in Franchise History: No.2

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins
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With just one day until NHL Free Agency begins, NoVa Caps is counting down the Top 2 free agent signings in franchise history.

No. 2: Matt Niskanen
Signed by the Capitals in 2014 to a seven-year, $40.25 million deal, Niskanen (along with fellow blueliner Brooks Orpik) has stabilized a blueline that was once a weakness for the Caps. Signed after a career-high 10 goals, 36 assists, and 46 points with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013-14, Niskanen has brought more than just an offensive mind to the Caps.

While offense has been his primary skill of choice, the 29-year old Virginia, Minnesota native has grown his two-way play in his two seasons in a Capitals sweater. Under renowned defense coach Todd Reirden, with whom he played  under in Pittsburgh, Niskanen has grown into a big-minute player for head coach Barry Trotz. After an injury to top-pairing blueliner John Carlson, Niskanen took on a bigger role, and averaged 24:40 of ice time while putting up five goals and 32 points.

Niskanen is the second-best free agent signing in franchise history because he has stabilized what was once the Caps’ Achilles Heel, and grown as a player in the process. Still in his prime, Niskanen will continue to impact the Caps for many years to come.

Check out NoVa Caps’ previous Top 5 Signings:
Top 5 Free Agent Signings in Franchise History: No. 5
Top 5 Free Agent Signings in Franchise History: No. 4
Top 5 Free Agent Signings in Franchise History: No. 3

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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