Everybody has that one thing that fits so perfectly, whether it be a shirt, a pair of underwear, or those lucky socks. T.J. Oshie found his perfect fit in the city of Washington; playing for the Capitals.
Oshie joined the club prior to the 2015-2016 season. In that time, He’s become a fan-favourite. He’s amassed 107 points in 148 games. His two seasons have been his highest-scoring seasons of his career. This past season, he tied Alexander Ovechkin with the team-lead in goals with 33 (his personal best). Both seasons have been two of his best statistically.
Oshie is an unrestricted free agent and is due for a big raise. With all of the contracts the Capitals need to sign, re-signing T.J. Oshie is a necessity.
The Washington Capitals Need to Re-Sign T.J. Oshie
One of the biggest arguments against re-signing T.J. Oshie is that he’s getting older. Indeed, he is turning 31 this December. However, people make this argument but fail to take notice of the fact that since Oshie has turned 30, he’s had the two best goal-scoring seasons of his career. Although it’s not impossible to think that age could impact Oshie, as of right now it isn’t slowing him down.
Style of Play
Washington is known for their offensive ability and creativity. With weapons like Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Evgeny Kuznetsov upfront, it’s understandable why their reputation is the way it is. When it comes to offensive creativity, it’s harder to find someone more fitting than T.J. Oshie. Anyone who’s watched the American winger play can agree: he’s amazing with the puck and arguably has some of the best hand-eye coordination in the league. He pulls off moves with the puck that make you wonder how he did it. When this creativity and dynamic puck ability pans out, it’s truly a work of art.
Aside from his talent with the puck, he’s arguably just as much fun to watch without the puck. He’s one of the most tenacious and hard-working forwards on the team and his defensive play is criminally underrated. He lead Capitals forwards in blocked shots with 50. If Oshie doesn’t have the puck on his stick, he’s forechecking and attacking so aggressively that it’s surprising if he doesn’t end up with the puck on his stick. His work ethic and inability to give up make him an extremely unique and dynamic forward. Overall, he’s a two-way winger who works his butt off.
His physical game is something very unique. Oshie is similar to Ovechkin in the sense that he’s a superstar with a nasty edge. Though he has a smaller frame, at just 5’11 and 189lbs, it’s impressive to see how many bodies he can send flying in a single game. It motivates him and the teammates around him. It’s a whole other side of his game he uses to succeed. It makes him even more dynamic.
He’s the perfect compliment to Backstrom’s calmness and Ovechkin’s flashiness and aggressiveness. His style of play fits in exactly with how the Caps have become known to play.
Good in All Situations
In addition to being a dangerous 5v5 player with an impressive 23.1 shooting percentage, he’s a weapon on the power play. Teams have come to know that the Capitals are trying to feed Ovi on the power play. This means that sometimes he gets shadowed and ultimately isn’t an option. This leaves Oshie wide open in the slot where he rarely makes a mistake burying the quick passes he receives. It’s a welcome addition to what has become a predictable power play.
When it’s the Caps that go shorthanded, Oshie is no stranger to the PK. He and Backstrom are one of the shorthanded units and it shows how much trust is placed in the Everett, Washington-native.
T.J. Oshie is no stranger to playoff hockey. However, he had the best postseason of his career this past year. Although the Capitals fell short of their goal, Oshie set a personal best by accumulating 12 points in their 13 postseason bouts. He shines bright in all situations, and is key to Washington’s success in these areas.
Plus, he’s not bad in the shootout.
T.J. Oshie has been in the league a lot longer than it seems. He’s coming up on his 10th NHL season. He’s considered another veteran in the locker room, and with that title comes a responsibility. Oshie is a well-respected and beloved member of the Capitals’ locker room. When asked about Oshie in a recent interview, Coach Barry Trotz said,
“He’s what you look for in a Washington Capital. You talk about someone who’s passionate, T.J.’s passionate. Someone who plays with joy, he plays with joy. Who’s got creativity in his game, T.J. has that. Who’s got a lot of competitive spirit in his game, T.J. has that. Can he play and be a productive player for us? T.J. can do that.”
When the coach is giving him this kind of praise, it’s clear to see what he means to this organization. As previously mentioned, his leadership on the ice comes through his tenacity and his offensive capabilities. Off the ice he is a positive figure who adds joy to a mature locker room. He’s just as important off the ice as he is on the ice.
There are lot of questions that need to be answered for the Capitals this offseason. Many players such as Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Andre Burakovsky are in need of contracts. Whether those contracts be in Washington or somewhere else is what needs to be determined. Two names stick out in that long list of free agents as players who need to be re-signed above all. Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie. Ultimately, these two guys are the most important contracts that are on GM Brian MacLellan‘s desk this coming offseason. Both will need pay raises, and both players are going to get them. T.J. Oshie has made it clear he wants to stay a Cap. In any case, if Washington wants to continue to be a contender in this league, they’ll find a way to keep him rocking the red next season.