MoJo’s Back…But is He Worth It?

Marcus_Johansson_Washington_Capitals_NoVa_Caps
Photo: ESPN

opinion When the Capitals announced that they had signed restricted free agent forward Marcus Johansson to a three-year, $13.75 million deal just before their arbitration hearing at 9:00 AM, the first thing that popped into my mind was: how much a year is he making?

While I do find Johansson a serviceable and skilled player, I personally believe he is not worth anything more than $4 million a year. The term is perfectly acceptable given his age and role.  While he has been consistent in point production in the last three seasons (44, 47, and 46 points), he’s never been able to take that next step that many believed he would take as a former first-round pick (24th overall in 2009). After scoring a career best 20 goals and 47 points last season, Johansson took a slight step backward with 17 goals and 46 points.

But the main reason I think the Caps are overpaying Johansson stems from the fact that he’s likely slated for a third-line role next year and there’s always the possibility that his numbers dip with a reduced role. The 25-year old Swede performed very well in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs with seven points in 12 games, which gives me reason to believe that he CAN step up when it matters most.

Johansson has also been called a “soft” player due to his inability (or possibly unwillingness) to get into the so-called dirty areas after the puck and his lack of physical play. While he has shown some physicality in the past, it may be that Johansson simply prefers to focus on his skill set rather than the less attractive parts of the sport.

Another reason I’m skeptical of the annual average value is the fact that the Caps may risk losing him in the 2017 Expansion Draft next summer. The fact the Caps may be paying him just to lose him concerns me. The Caps also have fellow restricted free agent Dmitry Orlov to sign, and they only have $3.45 million in available cap space. If they give Orlov say, $3 million a year, that leaves them with little to no cap space, which could be a problem going forward.

What do you think Caps fans? Do you believe this is a good deal for the Caps?

By Michael Fleetwood

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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5 Responses to MoJo’s Back…But is He Worth It?

  1. jonmsorensen says:

    I’m a MoJo fan, but the price was a bit high for the Caps, specifically. MoJo has out-priced himself in DC, as his fee is too much for a third-liner. I agree with Michael, expansion draft could render this point mute.

  2. Mo says:

    Never mind the contact for now. The cup goes through Pittsburgh like it or not. What has management done to address this ? Nothing…What do Cap fans expect this coming season ? Now how does that contract look ? Soft or what ? Caps have no problems with the regular season just round 2 of the playoffs…Hell let’s say they get past round 2, it doesn’t get easier only more difficult.

  3. Ron Bove says:

    I have to say after having a half way decent year, I surely thought they would try to dump him.
    I was a bit surprised they gave him such a contract.

  4. Pingback: Let’s Get Spooky: Caps Beat Nucks 5-2 | NoVa Caps

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