Hopefully, Volpatti's role will continue to shrink. (Faceoff)
As the Washington Capitals’ 2013 season has come to a close, and many words have been written about the team as a whole, it’s now time to look at this club at an individual level. As such, we will be taking a look at each player who played a significant role on the club this season and what they could bring in the future. First up is winger Aaron Volpatti.
Season Summary: Volpatti joined the Capitals after 16 games in Vancouver to open his season on a waiver claim, a curious move at the time and a curious move now. Volpatti is a fourth line player, and was such for Washington in terms of production, posting one assist in his 17 games for the club despite seeing some time on the top line with Alex Ovechkin. He was a very poor possessor of the puck, posting a corsi rating of -9.75 and a corsi relative of -9.2. Despite that, he saw time over Wojtek Wolski in the lineup before finally seeing his run in the lineup end when Washington traded for Martin Erat. He returned briefly when Erat got hurt again, but did not play in the postseason. Grade: C-
Role Play: When Volpatti arrived, it seemed as though his role would be to provide a physical edge on the roster, which he did to an extent. He played the majority of his minutes on the fourth line and did what most fourth liners do: he hit people, saw a little bit of special teams time, and hit people some more. He didn’t play those minutes particularly effectively, however, and was an absolute disaster when asked to play up on the higher lines. Grade: C-
Playoffs: Volpatti did not see postseason action. Grade: N/A
Future Potential: Volpatti was signed to a two-year contract extension worth $575,000 per season late in the year, which to be honest seems rather silly given his limited skill set. Still, he’s an NHL level player who can fill in for a game or so, and it’s not like they were going to get someone like that for much cheaper, especially with the salary cap crunch Washington has coming. In short, don’t expect him to play many minutes or effective minutes, but he’s a body who can play some minutes. Grade: C
Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR. Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.