From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every player* who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Boyd Gordon.
Contract Status: RFA; 2007-08 salary of $650,000
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 24
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 2+
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 67 games played, 7 goals, 9 assists, +5, 12 PIMs
Key Stat: Gordon was second on the Caps and ninth in the NHL with a 55.8% win rate.
Surprising(ly weak) Stat: Gordon had eight points in January but failed to record multiple goals or assists in any other month.
The Good: Gordon tied his career-high in goals (in four fewer games played and with four fewer shots taken), but he'll never make a team for his offense. What Gordon brings to the table is his ability in the faceoff circle (see above) and sound defensive play - he was on the ice for the fewest goals against per sixty minutes of ice time of any Cap who played at least forty games (which is saying something, considering that he led the Caps in shorthanded ice time per game and was second among all NHL forwards in that category) and had a team-best takeaway-to-giveaway ratio of nearly 2:1 while having the fewest giveaways per minute of ice time on the squad. Furthermore, considering the defensive assignments he was given on a nightly basis, the fact that he finished 18th in the League in fewest penalties taken per sixty minutes of ice time is damn near miraculous (he only had 2 PIMs in 42 games spanning from December through March!). After returning from a fractured hand in late December, Gordo finished the season up with five goals, seven assists and a plus-6 rating in 45 games.
The Bad: While he tied his career-high in goals, his assist dropped by 13 from the previous season in roughly the same amount of ice time per game. Gordon had the second-fewest hits per minute of ice time on the team (Michael Nylander, for good reason, had the fewest) and was only credited with 19 hits all season (Tomas Fleischmann had 37% more... ouch).
The Vote: Rate Gordon on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Questions: What role do you see Gordon playing on the 2008-09 Caps? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?
If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.
* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.