The Washington Capitals have signed Alex Chiasson to a one-way, one-year contract worth $660K. Chiasson had been on a professional tryout with the team but was expected to earn a contract once the season began. Team writer Mike Vogel reports that the team will place Chandler Stephenson on waivers today to make room, with the intent of sending him to the Hershey Bears of the AHL.
Chiasson spent last season with the Calgary Flames, scoring 12 goals and 24 points in 81 games. The former Dallas Stars’ prospect has carved out a nice career so far as a defense-first winger, capable of adding a bit of secondary scoring when asked. His career-high of 35 points in 2013-14 isn’t expected, but he’ll help fill a role vacated by Daniel Winnik in the bottom-six. The Capitals have seen quite a bit of turnover in their forward ranks, but will rely on new players like Chiasson and Devante Smith-Pelly to pick up the slack behind their impressive top group.
Despite watching several high profile free agents walk this summer, the Capitals were still pressed right up against the cap and needed to find some cheap options that still had upside. Chiasson is exactly that, and after proving he hasn’t lost a step in camp he should fit right in. Once Stephenson is waives, the team will be approximately $80K short of the cap ceiling, which won’t allow them much room to operate in-season. Big contracts to T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov made sure of that, as the pair was handed more than $13.5MM to return this season.
Minnesota just signed Winnik for the same amount of money. Don’t know a lot about Chaisson but why didn’t we just keep Winnik. He was perfect in his role as a penalty killer and was very undervalued.