In a move widely hailed as both smart and thrifty, the Washington Capitals announced today that they have re-signed forward Matt Hendricks to a two year contract. The contract brings Hendricks back to Washington at $800,000 per year, for a total cap hit of $1.6 million. So far this year, the 29 year old, third-year pro has put up solid numbers with the Caps, tallying 7 goals and 12 assists while splitting time on the third and fourth lines. The signing brings the Capitals to 16 players signed for the 2011-12 season, with just under $14 million remaining, according to CapGeek.com.
It’s an amazing signing; he’s the only one of his kind on this team. You’ve got your finesse [guys], you’ve got your experience[d guys], but Hendricks is unique. -Adam Vingan, editor, Kings of Leonsis
After making the team on a professional tryout contract, Hendricks quickly became a fan favorite with his gritty, physical play, mutilated eye on HBO’s 24/7, and willingness to defend his teammates. Already this season, Hendricks has dropped the mittens 12 times. Hendricks has embraced that role on the team, stating in a January 2011 interview with The Fourth Period: “going into the NHL I had to find my role, my niche, and I knew, talking to this friend of mine, that I had to find a different role. I wasn’t going to be a scorer in the NHL, and it took me a long time to realize that.” For more insight into why the fans love Hendricks so much, check out his interview with Homer McFanboy. Although, there is the possibility that this is a sign-and-trade situation, much like the one that brought enforcer D.J. King to the Caps in the off-season, the value that Hendricks brings to the team over the next two seasons, at the price he was signed for, makes that an unlikely scenario.