Feb 23, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT
Seizing an opportunity when it’s presented to you can be what makes you an everyday NHL starter and say a guy like the recently waived Nikolay Zherdev. For Washington’s Matt Hendricks after being let go by the Colorado Avalanche, getting a shot to make a name for himself in Washington was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up and he’s made the most of it turning into the Caps main energy line guy and feisty fighter.
That’s why the news today that the Caps signed Hendricks to a two-year extension isn’t the least bit surprising. Hendricks is having his best season as a pro in his third year in the league with seven goals and 12 assists. His 84 penalty minutes are also a career high as is his ice time average of over 11 minutes a game. Coach Bruce Boudreau has been very comfortable with playing him this season and the extra effort he puts into playing each shift has made him a bit of a cult hero in D.C. There’s also that whole thing from HBO’s 24/7 that had him showing off his gruesome eye injury that endeared him to hockey fans everywhere.
The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera confirms that the extension is two years for $1.6 million, a cap hit of $800,000 per year. The Caps have got themselves a young energy line guy locked up for two more seasons now and if they can figure out a way to get their top players to give as much effort as Hendricks puts out in his time on the ice, the Caps might be close to unbeatable. Here’s to hoping that hard work rubs off on the rest of the room to help the Caps score some more goals heading into the playoffs.
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