In the history of the Capitals, a total of 17 players have worn No. 2 on the back of their sweaters, with defenseman Matt Niskanen currently holding the distinction. Before Niskanen joined the Capitals in 2014, the number was worn by fellow defenseman and longtime Capital Brian Pothier. In this latest Capitals Alumni Profile, NoVa Caps looks back at Pothier’s Capitals career.
Pothier signed with the Capitals on July 1, 2006 as an unrestricted free agent on a four-year, $10 million contract. In his first season with the Capitals, Pothier (who was known as a puck-moving blueliner) scored three goals and added 25 assists for a total of 28 points in 72 games played, with a minus-11 rating in a season that saw the Caps go 28-40-14. Despite the team’s poor season, the 2006-07 season would prove to be Pothier’s best in a Capitals sweater.
In his second season with the team, Pothier played just 38 games as a result of suffering from post-concussion syndrome after he was injured at the start of 2008. The injury would sideline Pothier for 14 months. In the 38 games he did play, Pothier scored five times and added nine assists for 14 points. Pothier wouldn’t play in another game for the Caps until March 16, 2009, and played just nine games in 2008-09, recording three points (one goal, two assists), with an even plus/minus rating. The 2009-10 season would prove to be Pothier’s last in a Capitals sweater, as he played in 41 games (recording four goals and seven assists for 11 points) before being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the NHL Trade Deadline, along with prospect Oskar Osala and a second-round (later traded to Calgary who selected defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon), in exchange for fellow defenseman Joe Corvo. In 20 games played for the Hurricanes, Pothier recorded four points (one goal, three assists), with a minus-8 rating, finishing the 2009-10 campaign with five goals, 10 assists, and 15 points in 61 games played with a plus-4 rating. Pothier would not play in another NHL game, instead finishing his career in the 2011-12 season with HC Geneve-Servette of the Swiss Hockey League before retiring in 2014. In a total of 160 games played for the Capitals, Pothier recorded 56 points (13 goals, 43 assists), with a plus-6 rating, while adding two assists in 13 playoff games. Much like former Capitals center Michael Nylander, Pothier’s Capitals career was marked by injuries.
By Michael Fleetwood
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