The Washington Capitals announced on Sunday that the team had re-signed Center Nic Dowd to a three-year contract extension worth $3.9 million. Dowd talked about the deal and his time with the Capitals the same day, expressing his love for the organization and the city, as well as his success under Head Coach Peter Laviolette.
Dowd, who originally signed a one-year deal with the Capitals in free agency in 2018 (followed by a three-year deal in 2019), has been a staple of the team’s fourth-line and has recorded 27 goals and 53 points in 185 Games Played with the Capitals, along with a 53.3 Faceoff Win Percentage in that span. He has missed time this season with a lower-body injury and has not played since November 8.
“This is a great spot to play. I’ve been around a couple other organizations – both good organizations – but this has definitely been home. My wife loves it, we love it,” said Dowd during an impromptu media session during the first period of Sunday night’s tilt with the Penguins.
Dowd, who began his NHL career when he was 25, feels the term of his new deal is good for both sides:
“A big part of this deal was this does take me until I’m 35. You look around the league and comparables of that age and I just felt I didn’t want to have to make that choice of ‘hey let’s just pick my family up and move them somewhere else and then maybe look for another deal when I’m 36’. Also I just love this team, I love the guys. The core group is obviously wrapped up for awhile, and obviously Lavy [Capitals Head Coach Peter Laviolette] has a lot to do with it.”
The deals handed out in the COVID-19 pandemic-affected free agent markets of the last two summers played a part in the decision to re-up with Washington:
“Free agency hasn’t been as friendly in the last couple years to a lot of people. It has been great for some players and I think a lot of times guys can look at it and some guys are very obvious. Then some guys sign great deals and kind of surprises you and then you see some guys that sign not great deals and it kind of surprises you. So the risk assessment was our biggest decision-making process”.
Dowd believes last season was his best season so far in his hockey career. In 56 Games Played Dowd recorded a career-high 11 goals, 56.3 Faceoff Win Percentage, and a career-best 14:22 in average ice time per game.
“I started playing in the NHL when I was 25, so you back that up four or five years, a lot of guys started when they were 20. I honestly feel like I’m getting into my 27-28 years of my career for a lot of guys that’s when they hit their peak, and that’s how I feel about my career right now. I’m a young 31-year old, a lot of people don’t realize I’m that old until they see it and then they’re kind of surprised by it. I think I still have a lot left to give and I want to grow on last year and have an even better next three years.”
Dowd also provided a bit of an update on his health, a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup since November 8. “I’m not going to give you much but it’s day-to-day. Today I skated so that was a really positive, promising notion”.
Complimenting Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s part in helping him improve his game as well as linemate Garnet Hathaway’s recent offensive hot-streak, Dowd said:
“Lavy, I think with any boss, you get a lot of responsibility and you get something you haven’t been given before, you ride with it, and you take that opportunity and turn it into success. He’s a good coach to play for, you know where you stand with him and you know what to expect and I think within this organization it’s easy to be successful because there’s so many people who want you to succeed. So I think that that was also a big factor in why I wanted to stay and remain around this culture.” Regarding Hathaway, “Maybe I need to stay out. I know he’s probably going to give me some grief, but I’m excited for him and I want him to keep going”.
Dowd joined the Capitals on their trip to the West Coast, which they will begin on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.
“This is a great spot to play. I’ve been around a couple other organizations – both good organizations – but this has definitely been home. My wife loves it, we love it.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 15, 2021