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Caps Sign Poti

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The Caps have taken their first dip in the 2007 free agent pool by signing Tom "Pokecheck" Poti to a 4-year/$3.5 million deal.

Poti is the powerplay quarterback the team has been searching for, but isn't exactly well known for his defensive play. Per, Poti "[p]resents a tremendous physical package with a very heavy shot, great size and mobility" and "[h]as outstanding offensive upside," but "[h]as a tendency to complicate matters in the defensive zone" and "[m]ust work on his play without the puck and use his size more to keep forwards honest."

UPDATE: Spector's thoughts on the Poti signing:
One of the off-season requirement for the Washington Capitals was a puckmoving blueliner and they addressed that need Sunday, signing former NY Islanders blueliner Tom Poti to a four-year contract worth $3.5 million per season.

Poti is a very good offensive blueliner but his size and skills have always left fans in his former NHL stops wanting more. He’s not overly physical but there’s no denying that his offensive skills could make him a welcome addition to the Capitals, particularly on the power play.

He’s had two 40+ point seasons, the latest being last season with the Islanders, where he earned praise for his improvement defensively, so hopefully he’ll carry that over to the Caps next season.

At the very least, he’ll provide the Capitals with the PP quarterback they’ve lacked since Sergei Gonchar left town several years ago. Only 30, he should be in his prime now, which could make this a good, affordable signing for the Caps.

With the puckmoving defenseman now acquired, Caps GM George McPhee must now turn his attention toward a good playmaking center for Alexander Ovechkin's line.
UPDATE: Mirtle's thoughts:
Tom Poti has been signed by Washington to a four-year, $14-million contract. Poti will anchor the power play as the team's quarterback, and represents a substantial upgrade over the young crew the team had in place last season.

Poti had a terrific year with the Islanders in 2006-07, and I'm not surprised he signed for those terms.

He's been much-maligned over his career for a penchant for defensive gaffes, but Poti limited those miscues last season with New York and emerged as a legitimate No. 1 power-play quarterback with 44 points in 78 games.

The Capitals have a lot of cap space and are looking to really improve their lineup this summer, and I expect this to be the first of a few moves for GM George McPhee. Owner Ted Leonsis has made overtures about picking up a few free agents, including a first-line centre.