Capitals Sign Matt Niskanen, Panthers Ink Willie Mitchell.

The Washington Capitals have signed Matt Niskanen to a seven-year, $42.5 million contract. The Florida Panthers signed Willie Mitchell to a two-year contract. 

Matt Niskanen joins the Capitals.

Matt Niskanen joins the Capitals.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s over $6 million annually for Niskanen, who cashes in on a summer when there wasn’t a lot of talented blueliner available in this year’s UFA market. That’s not to belittle the 27-year-old’s performance, as his play last season could be indicative that he’s blossomed into a solid two-way defender.

He’ll be reunited with former Penguins teammate and defenseman Brooks Orpik, who signed with the Capitals earlier in the day. Niskanen will  have to prove that he didn’t benefit from playing on a deeper club in Pittsburgh. His addition also raises questions about Mike Green’s future with the Capitals. 

Mitchell’s deal is said to be worth over $8 million, which would be over $4 million per season. He will bring leadership and experience to the Panthers defense, plus his deal also helps the club get over the salary cap floor. Still, that’s a lot of coin invested in an ageing (37) blueliner who missed an entire season to a knee injury in 2012-13. 


  1. Niskanen and Orpik for long term expensive contracts?!? I appreciate the effort the new GM is putting into the team but unless the salary cap consistently increases every year this could become a problem. However, it does give the Caps three good pairs of D for next season. After so many years of McPhee as GM I’m not used to the high-risk, high-reward types of moves but I hope these signings and Trotz can improve things.

  2. Lyle,
    I almost forgot to say thanks for all your work and happy Canada Day!

  3. Any idea why Florida would buyout Jovo, and then sign Willie Mitchell. Is Jovo really that bad now? Or is Mitchell actually that much better at this point? This seems like a lateral move that is nothing more than a waste of actual money for the cats.

  4. maybe there’s an unofficial quota on overpaid geezers in Florida?

  5. Wow thats bad….reallly bad deals, its like they were trying to out bad deal each other.