Tom Wilson Says Finishing His Career As A Washington Capital Was Key Reason in Inking New Deal: “What I Always Wanted”

The Washington Capitals’ signing of right wing Tom Wilson to a seven-year contract has been, arguably, the team’s most notable transaction this offseason player-wise, keeping the veteran forward in the Nation’s capital for what one would presume will be the remainder of his NHL shelf life.

The Capitals’ commitment to Wilson comes in a transitional period for the club, one that figures to see a wave of young prospects arrive to the District in the upcoming and future seasons while maintaining the veteran core (including Wilson, who is still all of 29-years old) that has anchored the team for several seasons.

“It means a lot”, Wilson said, in a recent appearance on TSN”s First Up With Korolnek and Colaiacovo, “Obviously I was drafted there and been there…the last ten years, it definitely becomes a place you call home…I can’t imagine having to go play anywhere else; I love it there, we love it there.”

Wilson, who was taken by the Caps with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has evolved into one of the team’s most important lineup pieces and an all-around asset that would be heavily-coveted by other teams were he to have tested the free agent waters after the 2023-24 season.

“It’s always nice when the team reciprocates that [wanting to finalize a new contract] and says we want you to be here for the next kind of long-term. This gives me the opportunity to finish up a Cap, and that’s kind of what I always wanted. It’s pretty cool, it’s a special feeling, a special opportunity, and just gotta keep going out there, doing my job, and helping the team achieve what we can.”

Wilson, who has long been touted as a potential team captain in the post-Alex Ovechkin era, has played in 680 games as a member of the Capitals, recording 295 Points. While the tantalizing opportunity of the free agent market is enough to keep some players from inking new deals, No. 43’s reason for doing so with one year remaining on his current contract was quite the opposite.

“I mean that’s kind of why you get this done in the summer because there’s always that threat throughout the year”, said Wilson of forgoing the chance for a lucrative payday on the open market, “Depending on what’s going on, the business side of things where teams start making offers to get ya, and that upcoming summer of free agency is kind of looming over everything.”

“An athlete always has that curiosity, but for me the most important thing was staying, and that’s kind of the thing I told my agent to start the summer, was I want to be in Washington and let’s figure out the rest. Obviously a great opportunity for me and pretty happy the team was willing to do that as well…”

“I Haven’t Been This Nervous Before A Game,I’ll Be Honest About That”: Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson Share The Range of Emotions Felt in Return to the Lineup

Wilson also touched on a myriad of other subjects in his appearance on the program, including rehabbing from his ACL surgery with Nicklas Backstrom and the difficulties of not having the entire team around every day.

“It’s tough”, admitted the Toronto, Ontario native, “It’s definitely part of the gig when you sign up as an athlete there’s gonna be those sorts of things that happen…”

“Something of that significance, it’s tough. You spend a lot of time at home when the guys leave and go on the road. The great thing was that I had Nick Backstrom with me for most of it…we were able to hang out and push each other and he’s a guy that definitely makes the people around him better…when you have someone of that resume that he does and you’re coming into the rink everyday, it definitely pushes you to get back and continue improving.”

“It was a tough year but this summer I’m beginning to feel a lot better…I’m feeling great now so excited for this season.”

To listen to Wilson’s full comments, click HERE.

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. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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7 Responses to Tom Wilson Says Finishing His Career As A Washington Capital Was Key Reason in Inking New Deal: “What I Always Wanted”

  1. dwgie26 says:

    I am happy to have Tommy back. This signing has had a lot of visceral reactions, but you can hear it here that he wants to be in Washington. I think he took a good hometown discount. He got paid, no doubt.

    And while we are talking about visceral reactions… I also believe in the culture the Caps have (and continue to) build. This is consistent in a good way with how they have built culture. It’s like Marketing and building brand value. How much is too much? What is not enough? How do you value it? But no doubt brand has value as does culture.

    My biggest concern now is looking for too much value for pieces we need to move. Along with the need to move some bad contracts, paired with really needed to get prospects in the game, we need to move pieces. We may need to take less than we want. We need to move 2. Mantha and Kuzy in particular. Milano has value. NAK could have some value as well and at least we move a free piece for value to open a spot. Probably still need to be patient through training camp because people will get hurt. But we can’t be in Oct/Nov with current lineup.

    • andrew777dc says:

      I hear what you’re saying. There was a big interview with Carbery on the other day. He seems to be implying that Kuzy’s gonna stay, he’s counting on him bringing his best, and plans to put him in situations where he can do it. Bit of a concern, IMO. I would’ve rather seen him dealt away… Carbs also said Backy’s doing good, recovering, should be alright this season. Another ouch… No mention of Mantha. So it seems we’re keeping the vets at bay for now… Unless training camp somehow convinces the higher ups otherwise)

  2. novafyre says:

    Love Wilson, love to have him back, don’t mind the cost per year, just the length of contract. “keeping the veteran forward in the Nation’s capital for what one would presume will be the remainder of his NHL shelf life.” Will it be beyond his sell-by date? The way he plays, I feel that is a very valid question and concern.

  3. Greg says:

    I guess the line combos heading into the season look something like
    I would like to see Hendrix and Ivan on the team with strong camps as well. I also believe Sheppard should be given a legit shot to unseat Lindgren as #2

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