Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Report Card: Roman Hamrlik
Season Summary: Hamrlik got off to a simply wretched start in Capital red, recording one point, a goal, and a -7 rating in his first two months in Washington. Hamrlik continued to struggle even after that time frame, and was pulled from the lineup in late February, prompting him to ask for a trade at the deadline that obviously did not come to pass. He returned to the lineup in mid March and played pretty much all night the rest of the way. Overall, the veteran Czech played in 68 games, recording two goals, 11 assists, a plus-11 rating, and 34 penalty minutes, so after after such a terrible start, he picked it up a lot down the stretch. He also was second on the team with 149 blocked shots, only four behind team leader John Carlson in 14 fewer games. He was second on the team among defensemen in even strength corsi rating at 0.26, and he did it against the second-easiest competition among those rearguards. Grade: B-
Role Play: The following defensemen not on entry-level contracts made similar to Roman Hamrlik this season: Kris Letang, Matt Carle, Brent Burns, and Ryan Suter. Quick, which one is the outlier? Simply put, though Hamrlik was not a total disaster, particularly after his start, for a player making as much as he is, more is expected. George McPhee said that he hoped Hamrlik would help the power play, but he didn't play with the man advantage all season. He blocked shots well and put up a handful of points, but you can get that for a lot less than a $3.5 million cap hit. Nevertheless, it isn't totally fair to judge Hamrlik based only on his contract, because he was solid if completely unspectacular for a portion of the year. Grade: C
Playoffs: As decidedly average as his regular season was, Hamrlik's playoffs were actually quite good. He played in all 14 games, recording a goal, three assists, and a plus-eight rating that led the postseason for a period of time. He continued to block shots, racking up 37 denials in those 14 games, and posted the best 5v5 corsi on the team among defensemen at -7.83 (who needs puck possession), doing it against the fourth hardest competition on the team among blueliners. I was impressed with his play, and I had been one of his harshest critics all season. A nice rebound from the Hammer, and just about all you could want in the postseason for a player like him. Grade: A-
Future Potential: Signed through next year at a salary cap hit of $3.5 million, Hamrlik probably isn't going anywhere, despite the fact that he had requested a trade in February. As such, expect more of the same relatively solid, but very overpaid, defense from the now 38 year-old Hammer. However, with his increasing age, it seems unlikely that we see a big rebound, especially because his PDO, which measures luck, was 1013 - not overly high, but not indicative of a big rebound, either. Grade: C+
The next report card will feature winger Joel Ward.
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