TJ Oshie has made the Capitals more fun, more awesome, and more wholesome this season. But any new contract would almost certainly be a disappointment.
|17:51||time on ice per game|
|53.5||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|65.0||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the 2016-17 season. A short description of each chart:
Thirty-three goals! Boy, howdy! For the first time in precisely one month of Sundays, the Washington Capitals weren’t led in goals by Alex Ovechkin. Instead, they were led by Alex Ovechkin and TJ Oshie. That is amazing.
…And he’ll never get close to it again.
Oshie’s 137 percent increase in 5-on-5 scoring from last season was exhilarating, but it was the function of a near-tripling of his shooting percentage (26.1, up from 9.2 a season ago). Oshie’s underlying numbers – his actual individual shot rate – actually declined, but maybe that’s to be expected when you score on one of every four shots.
I mean – don’t get me wrong: Oshie is a deadly sniper, but no one is this deadly. This is not a repeatable performance. Oshie did not all of a sudden figure out how to literally double his accuracy (his all-situation shooting percentage over the last 7 seasons is 11.8, but it was 23.1 this year). Oshie’s finishing will regress hard next season. That coupled with a likely age-related decline in volume will make it difficult for Oshie to score even 20 goals.
So while we give credit to Oshie, let’s not go nuts. And when I say ‘we’, I mean the Capitals. And when I say ‘go nuts,’ I mean ‘sign him a contract worth seven million dollars per annum’.
Almost a decade ago, Caps owner Ted Leonsis wrote the following advice on rebuilding a sports team to Hogs Haven:
Add veterans to the team via shorter term deals as free agents. Signing long-term, expensive deals for vets is very risky. We try to add vets to the mix for two year or three year deals.
So TJ Oshie just wrapped a two year deal. Check. He will without a doubt be one of the most expensive unrestricted free agents available this summer. Check. At age 30, he’s a vet many years past his prime – even if illusory shooting percentage tempts us to think otherwise. Check. A big contract of Oshie is exactly what Ted preaches against.
A firm handshake and a big thank you is all the Caps should give TJ Oshie this summer.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 17, 2016
— #CapsFightCancer (@Capitals) November 6, 2016
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 2, 2017
Will the Capitals re-sign TJ Oshie? Should the Caps re-sign TJ Oshie? What’s your favorite T.J. acronym?
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen
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