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, Brian Pothier.
Contract Status: 2008-09 salary of $2,500,000; UFA after 2009-10 season
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 31
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 4+
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 38 games played, 5 goals, 9 assists, +5, 20 PIMs
Key Stat: Pothier was one of two defensemen on the team (Tom Poti being the other) to average more than 15 even strength minutes, one power play minute and one shorthanded minute per game.
Quirky Stat: Had no points on Fridays, despite playing nine Friday games and having more than twice as many shots on that day than on any other.
The Good: Pothier was on pace for a 10-goal/19-assist/plus-10 campaign (which would have been career bests in goals and points, and the five goals he did score tied a career best) when his season was derailed by Milan Lucic. His 7.7 shooting percentage was tied with Mike Green for second among the team's blueliners, he drew the second most penalties per sixty minutes of a Caps rearguard, and even though he played less than half the season, he ended up fourth among the D-corps in points. Pothier had the best plus/minus relative to his team of any Caps defenseman, the second best takeaway-to-giveaway ratio of the group, and had four goals in 17 games under Bruce Boudreau.
The Bad: Pothier had two points (no goals) and a minus-3 rating in 15 November games and had just one goal in his first 26 games. He also had the second-fewest hits-per-game of any Caps defenseman (Poti had the fewest).
The Head: Pothier's health is improving, but he's still symptomatic as he tries to recover from what is at least his fifth concussion.
The Vote: Rate Pothier 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: If Pothier gets better and can play, what role do you see him having 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.