|In his best moment of the year, 89 wrecks Jakub Voracek.|
Stats/Season Summary: In what has become a pattern over the last three seasons in which Sloan has seen time in DC, he only saw minutes when he absolutely had to. Sloan suited up for 33 games this year, recording a goal and five assists while compiling a -6 rating and 14 penalty minutes. When Sloan played, he wasn't usually very good, struggling to keep coverage in the defensive zone, making ill-advised pinches at the attacking blue line, and getting burned with regularity along the wall. He just struggled, and never looked in sync with the system or his teammates, which is a shame because he is a great guy. It got so bad that AHL call-up Sean Collins made the lineup over him late in the season and in game four of the Tampa series. Grade: D-
Role Play: When you're a teams seventh defenseman, your job is to not make mistakes on a regular basis and be a quiet and good teammate. You need to be able to fill holes left by injury, providing your team with a safety net. Sloan was not able to do this; he constantly made mistakes in his own zone and he was always talked about for all the wrong reasons on the ice. Off it, however, he is a great teammate who people like to be around and he is always willing to sign for fans at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. I give him credit, but he was just too big a liability on the ice. Grade: D+
Playoffs: Ha! You must be joking. Grade: N/A
Future Potential: Sloan is under contract next season for $700,000, and that will likely be his last season in Washington. He will almost surely make the roster next fall barring a miraculous camp from Dmitry Orlov, but will, provided the health of the other blueliners, be relegated once again to the seventh defenseman/healthy scratch role. He's 30, so he's not going to get any better and he's past his "prime", but for the year left on his contract, he will be semi-valuable as an extra body on the blue line. Grade: D+
Here's some video of one of those pinches. When Derek Boogaard, owner of three goals in 277 NHL games, beats you down the wing, you got issues.
The next report card will be posted on May 12th, and will feature Quebecois center Mathieu Perreault.