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Capitals sign Matt Hendricks to a one-year deal

Washington has signed forward Matt Hendricks to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Monday afternoon. It's both vindication and reassurance for Hendricks, who arrived in training camp on a professional tryout after being caught in a difficult free-agent market this summer, that he's doing the right things to have a shot at staying in the NHL.

"I'm very excited. It's kind of hard to explain in words," Hendricks said. "They've seen enough out of me to want me back in the organization; not necessarily have they seen enough for me to make the Washington Capitals, but it's a stepping stone. And I'm closer to my goal of sticking here and staying in Washington."

After proving himself in the ECHL and AHL, Hendricks earned his first full season in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche in 2009-10, registering 16 points in 56 regular-season games.

But he didn't expect to have so few suitors when free agency opened up this past summer.

"It's hard to explain what happened this offseason with free agency," Hendricks said. "There's a lot of players still left out there that remain unsigned ,a lot of players looking for opportunities, and I was in that same boat. To explain why, I don't really know, but... I did expect a little bit more talk throughout the summer months there after July 1. It just wasn't there."

Through two preseason games the Capitals have seen two sides of Hendricks, who has experience playing all three forward positions and is a natural center. Against Columbus he scored a hat trick and against Nashville he showed some of the grit and agitator capabilities that make him an asset as a grinder and energy player.

"No matter what my role is in a game, no matter how much ice time I get, at the end of it I want to be able to say I changed the game," Hendricks said. "So sometimes it might be scoring a goal, but for the most part it's the way I play, with the grit and the energy that I bring for the club."

By Katie Carrera  | September 27, 2010; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Hendricks  
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Comments

glad another team took the chance on Hendricks and gave him an nhl shot. He had to prove it with another team at the nhl-level first before re-igniting the Caps' interest in him. He's no different a player now than he was in Hershey. Just needed a big league chance.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What a great feeliing that must be for Matt. This sort of thing is what makes training camps so interesting.

Posted by: Riddler1 | September 27, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

either we get some compensation for Flash and BGordo, or we should never have re-signed them if we can't trade em. They're jamming up the roster for the likes of Hendricks, AGordon, Beagle, Pinner. The first 2 should be on the Caps roster to start the season. i can live with the other 2 getting more time in Hershey before being recalled.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't really know anything about Hendricks. Is this more of a depth signing, or does the kid have a legit shot at staying up?

Posted by: Fro_2 | September 27, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
looks like gmgm's stance is changing on what type of players are needed on the team.
i'll hold your kool-aid cup until your ready for it. hahahaha

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 27, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Catch any fish, CStanton?

Posted by: zmega | September 27, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

i'm sure you'll be a little uneasy when you take your first drink - so i'll make it a sippy cup :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | September 27, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: Did you encounter mean, tough, gritty salmon, the kind that give the bear an all-out fight, or "Euro Trash" salmon that just swim in little circles?

BTW, Capt Kirk, I was cuting coupons from the Sunday paper and there was a small section of just Kraft product coupons and, I kid you not, there was one Buy 10 packs of Kool-Aid and you get four free.

So, head out to Giant back in DC area to find out who's in the grocery line buying.

Oh, cstanton, you know I second that on "jammed up roster." We have plenty of young, $500K guys who can contribute if some of the slightly bigger contracts get moved.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | September 27, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Catch any fish, CStanton?

Posted by: zmega

60 salmon, 5 trout. Between the 3 of us. My buddy went out 2 weeks before that with his brothers and caught 350 salmon in 2 days between 4 people.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1:
looks like gmgm's stance is changing on what type of players are needed on the team.
i'll hold your kool-aid cup until your ready for it. hahahaha

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

nothing would make me happier than if GM came around to my way of thinking. That would be much easier than having to suffer thru any more underachieving playoff seasons, then pray for ted to get off his lazyboy and fire McPhee, and then of course actually bring in the correct replacement.

so yeah, i'll be his biggest supporter if he changes the way he's thought about how to make a deep playoff run. Do i see that happening though? No. He may do it in small degrees here n there but nothing consistent enough to change over both the personnel and tweak the systems. You are who you are. You either get it, or you don't. How often do you find a GM who changes his own philosophies about what it takes to win?

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1 while I tend to agree with you about B. Gordon and how he could have been replaced by Hendricks or a Bear player. Flash I feel is more important to the team. With him the Caps have four guys (Flash, Perreault, MJ, and Eaken) looking for two roster spots and center so whoever looks like they aren't working out well can be sent down or in Eaken's case sent back to jrs. No matter if you think Flash is the answer for the #2 center or not if he beats out the other players for that spot then at least to those who actually matter, the coaches, he is the best player for the job. He needs some time to learn the position and there were times during the year last year, including our big winning streak, where Flash was doing well as our center. If we got rid of him we wouldn't get a better center back, because no one would trade one center for another who is not as good, and we already tried shopping him for a D and couldn't get anything with him. I think the best thing is keep him around this year and let MJ get some time in the AHL to develop a bit more and have MP as the third line center (my peference would be with Fehr and Handricks). Then next year they can not resign Flash if he hasn't shown he can be the second line center and the centers next year can be Backstrom, MP, MJ, and Eaken with Steckel as an extra center. MJ would have a year in the AHL at that point and MP would have a full year in the NHL. There is also Kuznetsov who could take MP or one of the other centers place if he is ready by next season. Flash is fine as a one year stopgap until our young guys develop a little bit more.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

60 salmon, 5 trout. Between the 3 of us. My buddy went out 2 weeks before that with his brothers and caught 350 salmon in 2 days between 4 people.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 2:56 PM |

You know, you arent supposed to game fish at a Salmon Farm. That's someone's business you are stealing from. It's like going out and lifting others lobster traps in Maine. :) haha

On a serious note, sounds like you all had a good haul.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | September 27, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

cstanton,

Where were you fishing? When I was living in California I fished the Sacramento River when they would run there but they had a strict limit of two per day. Would love to stock my freezer the way you just did!

Posted by: PhilR | September 27, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@phil,
i won't tell you where i flew out to but you can figure it out pretty easy! There's a place called 3Rivers. Its where the Taylor, the Gunnison, and the East river all meet up. The salmon actually start in the Blue Mesa Reservoir. I've never fished there but I did go visit it yesterday morning. Its damn pretty. A long narrow expense of beautiful deep water. My buddy has fished out of there on a boat before and they're allowed to keep 20 salmon per day. Anyway, the reservoir is really deep (I've heard its 1500 ft deep in some places). So the salmon live there for like 6 yrs, get really big, then swim up (25 miles or so?) to the 3 river junction. At this point they have a 33% chance (that's for SGM) to pick the right river to swim up into. Most of seem to pick the right river (East river)towards the Roaring Judy fish hatchery(which is now defunct) and they drop their eggs there. There's a few "honey holes" about half a mile downstream from the hatchery. And catching a salmon is easy as heck compared to catching a trout. San Juan worm or a piece of shammy cloth tied in a strip as your fly. Then you get more true catches vs foul hooks where you snag em in the side. big trout too, over 24" Browns.

its catch n release for the salmon but we did kinda drop one into the cooler last yr on our annual trip. She was a tasty morsel! just a bit of lemon and butter melting into sweet supple succulent flesh as she roasted in the campfile. maaan!

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

i think someone just called me Kramer! lol


----
@cstanton1 while I tend to agree with you about B. Gordon and how he could have been replaced by Hendricks or a Bear player. Flash I feel is more important to the team.
--------
@ice
he's definitely more important because he's one of the few options we have at 2nd line center. I just wished we had been able to trade him for Bieksa. My experience of getting a little insider info here n there over the yrs has led me to believe that the reason the Caps execute such few trades is that we ask for too much in return. We overvalue our own assets. So while I don't know all the particulars of this deal with Vanc, and its very possible that the Canucks backed out of the deal after losing Mitchell to LA, I have known about a few deals in the past where I thought we weren't offering enough to get back the players we were asking about. Once in a while it works out like it did with the Adam Oates trade. We got back a lot even though I don't think we ended up using the picks wisely, and Max didn't work out as a goalie. But generally, if you overvalue your own assets, you're screwed. And that's why we're seem to have a hard time executing trades. And then sometimes it seems like we give up too much like we did for Corvo.

and damn redskins. They're killing me.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

i'm sure you'll be a little uneasy when you take your first drink - so i'll make it a sippy cup :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ

either way i'm sure i'll be plowed after 2. Although...I did consume like 5 Jamiesons and Gingerales without getting totally schlonkered. So there's still hope. The beers still get me though. 2 beers on tap in a bar and my eyeballs start swimming.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/96936

didn't know if that got posted. Tilt between Pinner and a tough kid named Kelsey Wilson, also an undrafted FA pickup ala Pinner.

From reports, there was a hard hit by Pinner that led to Wilson taking exception. I think Pinner in the NHL will end up drawing a lot of penalties with his relentless style.

also read where Bruce implied he would run only 3 lines in the 3rd pd when protecting a lead. I don't like that because our 4th line could play a very important role in 3rd periods of games. Even if its just one or 2 guys from the 4th line who get put into the mix (i.e. leave DJK out of the mix and give a guy like Bradley some ice time).

If you choose not to play your 4th line just because you have a lead in the 3rd pd, then you also probably won't play them when you're behind by a goal or two. And you probably won't play em when you're tied in the 3rd and attempting to score a goal.

Sounds like our 4th line will see even less 3rd period ice this season than last yr. Which essentially means we're a 3 line team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1. I watched a replay of the Nucks game from last night focusing on Bieksa since I never really had focused on him in a game before. He was beat on the first three Oiler goals and didn't seem to be boxing out guys in front at all. I think some here were overvaluing Bieksa just because they were looking for something in the form of a move this offseason. While I do think he is better then Sloan/Erskine I don't think he is any better overall then Shultz.

Also I think the BB quote was talking about that one game and not what he plans to do during the season. With a lot of the guys in preseason games being guys who we know aren't going to make the Caps it does make some sense to shorten the bench late in that case. If he does do this in the regular season then that is different but I think the three line qoute was more about the Nashville game. But if it is for the season I agree that it won't work and we can only hope that BB notices that and changes it before games really start to matter in the playoffs.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1: I got the opposite sense from the 3 lines at end of games comment. We had a mini-discussion about this topic over the weekend. To me it meant rotating the top 3 defensive lines and omitting the weakest, whatever that might be. Either way, I'm in agreement with you. In a perfectly executed game plan you've got a lead and all four lines rotate with similar ice time thereafter, to conserve their energy. This assumes that the coach has instilled a sense of defensive responsibility and the tools to execute that responsibility in all four lines.

Posted by: struggler | September 27, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

He was beat on the first three Oiler goals and didn't seem to be boxing out guys in front at all. I think some here were overvaluing Bieksa just because they were looking for something in the form of a move this offseason. While I do think he is better then Sloan/Erskine I don't think he is any better overall then Shultz.
----------------

i didn't watch the game obviously so i won't comment on it. But anyone who's watched Bieksa over the course of his career knows what he is. And he's a tough hardnosed player who can move the puck. He's not a great defenseman but he's a good defenseman. Certainly better than Poti. And he offers up some of the intangibles that we don't have in our top 4 guys. He plays with Erskine's kind of edge (moreso I'd say) but he's good enough to pull down 15-20 shifts per game.

Did you get a chance to watch any of Vancouver's last 2 playoff seasons? Bieksa loves the physical part of the game, he'll hit and fight and not let anyone in the crease. But he's also had some tough injuries so maybe he's taking it a bit easy in preseason.

Go out on youtube, you'll probably find a dozen vids relating to Bieksa's toughness. That is not in question. Neither is his ability to move the puck. What may be in question is his ability to be a top defender. He's not a top 2 guy the way a Mathias Ohlund was in his prime. But he would've been a nice addition to our blueline. And he offers us a player who has no problems going after other team's skill guys and knocking them around or getting under their skin.

None of our current D like to get in anyone's faces, esp the top guys on other teams.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1. Yes I have watched Vancouver games in the playoffs just not focusing on the one player like I did yesterday. I know he can make a big hit every now and then which is all looking at youtube will really show. What I saw was young Oiler players standing in front of the net not being touched as they we poking a puck in the net that was sitting behind the Vancouver goalie and Bieksa just trying to tie up the stick of the guy going after it. I saw him allow guys to cut across the middle of the slot and take shots from straight on instead of from the outside. I saw him flop around on one leg because he was not covering anyone and then was hoping to block a shot as an Oiler forward got ten feet closer to the net to score because Bieksa didn't come out to challege him. I saw other Vancouver players try to get things going with physical play or fights but Bieksa did nothing. While this may have just been a case of him thinking this is a preseason game no reason to do anything stupid as the first game where my focus was just on him and not the team as a whole he looked awful. I am not saying he is a bad player I just don't think he is even a top two pairing guy and was not worth giving up someone who had 23 goals last year in only 69 games and has been improving on his totals every year.

Posted by: icehammer97 | September 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

While this may have just been a case of him thinking this is a preseason game no reason to do anything stupid as the first game where my focus was just on him and not the team as a whole he looked awful. I am not saying he is a bad player I just don't think he is even a top two pairing guy and was not worth giving up someone who had 23 goals last year in only 69 games and has been improving on his totals every year.

Posted by: icehammer97

well i already said that Bieksa isn't a true top 2 guy although he's been used in Vanc in that role here and there in the past and he's done well on a good team. But lets not question his tenacity or toughness on D based on you watching him closely for just one game. Because his lengthy prior history speaks otherwise. I'm sure I can go find tape of the most physical players in hockey who don't bring it on every single shift.

And also, a trade is always a nice wakeup call for a player. I have no doubt in my mind that if Bieksa came to the Caps there wouldn't be much grumbling about his lack of toughness. He's an ornery player and always has been. That was his MO in college and he carried that into the minors and then the NHL. Why would he suddenly abandon that style? The guy hits and fights, he's either starting scrums or in the middle of every scrum when he's on the ice. So I don't see him suddenly turning into a passive player who's afraid of contact. The Canucks have been one of the NHL's scrappiest teams the past several yrs. And its guys like Bieksa, Burrows, Kesler and O'Brien who give them that personality.

And maybe its just a coincidence, but the fact that he played at McPhee's alma mater may have at least subconsciously gone into the Caps decision to pursue him :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Really, really sad about Wade Redden: Like him or not, the guy is a decent hockey player.

Much as I dislike feeling sorry for wealthy people, it's got to suck having to make a choice between giving up doing something you love and putting your livelihood (read: paycheck) in jepoardy.

This burying of NHL-Caliber players in the minors is a greed-based strategy that can only do harm--not just to the players, but to the NHL as a whole and even ultimately the owners themselves. Repeat: IT IS BAD FOR HOCKEY.

It's really dumb, too--kind of like the way we pay farmers not to grow crops when people are starving.

Stop doing what you love or jeopardize your income. Nobody in any legitimate line of work should have to make such a choice.

Not ever.

Just my € 0.0148723

Posted by: Rhino40 | September 27, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

cstandon1:
"60 salmon, 5 trout. Between the 3 of us. My buddy went out 2 weeks before that with his brothers and caught 350 salmon in 2 days between 4 people."

Must have been using hand grenades.

Posted by: beeman | September 27, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Must have been using hand grenades.

Posted by: beeman | September 27, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

when they're swimming in pools of about 15 and you catch almost one per cast, it does lead to tendonitis in your wrist but it is crazy how easy they are to catch if you follow certain techniques. If you fish em like you fish trout, you'll have a hard time catching them. They don't really swim upto the fly. You have to move the fly into the salmon and then snag em.

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 27, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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