Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Washington Capitals announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have signed forward Conor Sheary to a one-year contract that carries a $735,000 cap hit. He became an unrestricted free agent on October 9 after the Pittsburgh Penguins did not re-sign him.
The 28-year-old posted 10 goals, 23 points, a -5 rating, a 50.3% Corsi-for percentage, and a 49.91% expected goals-for percentage in 63 regular-season games with the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres last season. He recorded two assists and a +3 rating in the Penguins’ four-game loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
In 325 career games with the Penguins and Sabres, Sheary has posted 72 goals, 150 points, and a +2 rating.
In 61 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Sheary has recorded six goals, 21 points, and a -5 rating. He posted four goals and 10 points in 23 games while playing with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2016 and two goals and seven points in 22 games in the 2017 Stanley Cup run.
The signing of Sheary solves the Capitals’ need for a middle-six winger, which opened after Ilya Kovalchuk was not re-signed. Sheary will likely start on the third-line but could play anywhere in the lineup as he has played with Crosby, center Evgeni Malkin, and center Jack Eichel before. The addition should only improve a Capitals’ offense that ranked second in the NHL with an average of 3.42 goals-per-game last season and power-play that ranked 17th with a 19.4% efficiency, including 28th with a 15.6% efficiency after December 8.
Sheary averaged 12:55 worth of ice-time per game with the Sabres, including 1:14 on the power-play, last season. With the Penguins, he averaged 14:27 worth of ice-time, including 49 seconds on the power-play.
Sheary signed with the Penguins in 2015 as an undrafted free agent.
The Capitals now have $2,240,123 left in cap space with a need of a back-up goaltender.
Conor Sheary, reportedly signing with WSH, is an above-average play-driving middle six forward who likes to shoot the puck. pic.twitter.com/nGPoEjaWSE
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) December 22, 2020
By Harrison Brown