Washington Capitals: Grading the Jonas Siegenthaler signing

Jonas Siegenthaler #34 of the Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jonas Siegenthaler #34 of the Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals got a huge bargain by signing defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to a one year deal worth $800,000.

Late on Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals finished taking care of their own this offseason when they re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

Last season, Siegenthaler played his first full NHL season, appearing in 64 regular season games and seven postseason games. He posted nine points during the regular season. In 90 career regular season games, he has 13 points.

With that signing, the Capitals are a shade over $1 million past the salary cap. However, they could trade someone like Richard Panik or Nick Jensen to get back under. Though putting Michael Kempny on the LTIR would clear up some space, they must be below the cap ceiling to get cap relief.

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Grading The Contract

This is an excellent signing by the Capitals. Yes, Siegenthaler had no leverage as an 10.2c RFA with no arbitration rights, meaning he couldn’t even sign an offer sheet. However, he’s unquestionably an NHL defenseman and has flourished in limited minutes. Getting Siegenthaler for $800,000 is a steal.

Though the one year deal is short, it allows the Capitals to remain cap compliant for this season. All they have to do is get their roster down to 12 forwards and six defensemen to start the season, put Kempny on the LTIR, and then they’ll be fine.

Siegenthaler has put up borderline elite defensive numbers. He’s played limited minutes, but very few defensemen in the NHL have been better at suppressing chances against than him. Siegenthaler is comfortable on either side, though he should finally be on his correct side (the left).

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Though he should start on the third pairing, it wouldn’t shock me if he winds up as a top-four defenseman this season. Former Capitals head coach Todd Reirden was afraid to play Siegenthaler on the right side. It will be interesting to see if new coach Peter Laviolette will give him a shot on the right side if Justin Schultz struggles.

Grade: A+