Caps sign two forwards at start of free agency

Ben Krimmel
July 01, 2019 - 1:20 pm

Days after shipping out Stanley Cup-winner Andre Burakovsky, the Capitals signed a pair of players who they hope can replace him.

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The Caps announced the signing of right-wingers Richard Panik and Garnet Hathaway shortly after free agency began Monday at 12 p.m. ET.

Washington secured Panik, a 28-year-old out of Slovakia, with a four-year, $11 million offering ($2.75 average annual value), general manager Brian MacLellan announced Monday. He grabbed 33 points (14 goals and 19 assists) in 75 games with Arizona last season.

"It's a great team and a great organization," Panik said after signing. "They're always in the playoffs and it's a good opportunity for me. Hopefully I will be helping the team doing the best way I can."

Why did Panik pick Washington? "It was the best offer I had pretty much from the beginning," he told the media. "They offered me four years. Nobody else did. That was the main reason. That's why I chose (the Caps)."

Panik had had a career-high 22 goals and 22 assists during the 2016-17 season with the Chicago Blackhawks and in 410 career games with four teams, Panik found the net 75 times and tallied 84 helpers.

The Caps grabbed Hathaway, a 27-year-old out of Florida, from the Calgary Flames with a four-year, $6 million deal (for an average annual value of $1.5 million). Hathaway accumulated 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) over 175 NHL games in Calgary.

He led the Flames in hits with 200 and ranked third among Calgary forwards in blocked shots, per the Caps.

Washington moved fast after they dealt Burakovsky to the Colorado Avalanche honoring a trade request he made earlier in the season.

The Capitals also announced the signing of 25-year-old forward Brendan Leipsic on a one-year deal and 26-year-old AHLer Philippe Maillet on a two-year, two-way contract, with an average annual value of $700,000. 

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