CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Tyson Strachan
Age: 29 [turns 30 Oct. 30]
Ht/Wt: 6-3, 215
Penalty minutes: 28
Average Ice Time: 17:19
Contract Status: Becomes unrestricted free agent on July 1 [$550,000 NHL salary, $225,000 AHL salary in 2013-14]
Strengths: Strachan is a no-frills defenseman who was an injury call-up on three different occasions this season, for nine games in November, three games in February and the final six games of the season. When he keeps things simple, Strachan is a get-it-in, get-it-out defenseman who lacks creativity but can play a physical brand of hockey along the walls and around the net in his own zone.
Weaknesses: Strachan lacks the foot speed to be an NHL regular but he is a reliable and durable depth player. In 60 games for the Hershey Bears this season he posted four goals and 15 assists along with 56 penalty minutes.
Memorable Moment: On Nov. 15, in his first game with the Capitals as an injury replacement for Mike Green, Strachan logged 21:43 in ice time alongside rookie Nate Schmidt. In the Capitals’ 4-3 shootout win in Detroit, Strachan recorded a team-high five hits, blocked one shot and logged 1:56 on the penalty kill and 31 seconds on the power play.
Quotable: “I think for the younger guys [being a seventh defenseman] is tough. When you’re an elite prospect you’ve never been in that situation, right? You’ve always been the coach’s guy. I think that can be a bit devastating and frankly it’s probably not that great for your development sitting in the stands. I think I have that skill set to offer and I’m hoping it works out.” – Strachan during training camp
2014-15 Expectations: At 29 Strachan is still a serviceable NHL defenseman, but probably not in a full-time role. A leader on the ice and well-liked in the locker room he would be an asset to any organization looking for a right-handed seventh defenseman that can slide between the AHL and NHL.