Washington Capitals Player Report Card: Andrew Gordon

Andrew Gordon

Stats: GP 9, Goals 1, Assists 1, Points 2, Rating -2, PIM 0
Contract:
2010-11 cap hit $500,000, pending UFA

Player Card

Scoring Chance % Ranking: 20/29
Forwards: 12/19
Balance Corsi Ranking: N/A

Gordon only played nine games in Washington this season so I won’t give him a grade on his performance because it’s such a small sample size. However, I will look back at what he did for the Caps this season and what his future is with the team. Gordon is a fringe-NHL player who is only called up wen the Caps have a lot of injuries to their forward corps. That was the case in late December for Washington and Gordo got most of his playing time there. While he was here, he made quite an impact in Washington’s game against New Jersey where he notched his first NHL goal and also recorded an assists en route to a 5-1 win. After that, not much to say. He played less than 10 minutes in all but two games and was only called up to be an energy/role player. Pretty different from the goal scoring role that he has with Hershey where he had another good season there notching 28 goals and 54 points.

One thing I love about small sample sizes is how inflated some players stats look when they’ve only played a few games. Gordon did a good job at moving the puck in the right direction even with a lot of starts in his own zone during his short time in the NHL. It’s about what you can expect from a player like him who tries to make the most of his call-ups.

Now here’s a few things to speculate regarding him; Would the Caps be better off keeping him on the roster instead of other fringe guys they had like say, Jay Beagle or even Tyler Sloan? Debatable. While Gordon has a lot more offensive skill-set than Beagle, he likely wouldn’t get to use it that much in the NHL getting bottom-six minutes. He’s a top-six player in Hershey and would get more time to develop down there. Also, Beagle’s defensive and physical game is slightly better than Gordon’s, which gives him more value as a bottom-six player in Washington. They are both the same age, but Gordon had more of a role on the Bears than Beagle or Sloan did, so that is likely why he spent most of the year there.

Next year Gordon is an UFA, so he can decide starting on July 1st if he wants to sign with another club, likely one with a lack of forward depth, that will give him a shot at earning a roster spot for next year. My thought is that teams with weak forward depth, particularly at winger (Oilers, Blues, Panthers and a few others come to mind) and they could give him a shot. His career could work out like many others where his game doesn’t translate well enough to the NHL and he will be a life-long AHL-er (see Krog, Jason) or he will take his skills elsewhere (see Bourque, Chris). I hope the best for him either way. It’s likely that he could be back in Hershey again if they want him back enough or the Caps feel that there’s a fit for him in the organization, which is a possibility. Anyway, his grade is an incomplete since it’s unfair to grade a player for only playing 9 games.

When he scored his first goal and kissed Marcus Johansson was probably one of my favorite moments of the season, though. Nothing I love more than seeing a kid score his first NHL goal.

Watching that makes me smile every time.

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