CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Keith Aucoin
Position: Center, Right Wing, Left Wing
HtWt: 5-9, 187
Penalty minutes: 0
Average Ice Time: 11:03
Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent 512,500 cap hit in 2011-12
Strengths: Despite being the smallest player on the Capitals roster Aucoin played in 22 of the Capitals final 23 games of the regular season and all 14 playoff games. He did not commit a single penalty for the Caps in the regular season and took just one in the playoffs. Aucoin is a creative playmaker who is defensively responsible.
Weaknesses: Aucoin has put up big numbers in his AHL career 777 points in 672 games but has been far less productive in the NHL 37 points in 102 games. He tries to make up for his lack of size by using an unusually long stick, which measures about 5-foot, 4 inches.
Memorable Moment on the ice: On March 13 in Uniondale, N.Y., Aucoin recorded a career-high three assists to help erase a three-goal deficit and lead the Caps to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Islanders.
Memorable Moment off the ice: On Feb. 29 Aucoin and his wife, Maureen, welcomed their first child into the world. Aucoin, who was renting an apartment in Arlington, received a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call from his wife, whose was in labor 10 days before her due date and was living in their home in Hershey, Pa. I broke a lot of speed limits on the way there, Aucoin said. I think I made a lot of people mad cutting them off. I hit a bunch of traffic and I was just trying to get there because I didnt know when it was going to come. Aucoin arrived at Hershey Medical Center in plenty of time to see the arrival of Brayden Michael at around 8 p.m.
2012-13 Expectations: Aucoin becomes a free agent on July 1 but without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement he may not receive any offers until closer to training camp. The Capitals could do worse than to sign the veteran to a two-way contract at the NHL minimum salary and use him as a depth forward in the organization, but they are more likely to move in a younger direction for their fourth line.