Mathieu Perreault expressed some reasonable frustration at the end of the Washington Capitals’ season about being a healthy scratch in the playoffs. But new coach Adam Oates and conversations with management were enough to convince Perreault to make another commitment to the Caps.
Perreault, a restricted free agent forward, and the team on Thursday agreed to a two-year deal worth just over $2 million. Both years are one-way.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Perreault said. “This is the team that gave me my first chance, and I really wanted to get a deal done with the Caps and I’m happy to get it done today.”
Perreault’s feelings in May about his reduced role with the Caps were assuaged before the new deal got done.
“The last few talks we had, they told me I was part of the top forwards of the team and they want me back with them,” he said. “I’m assuming they’ve got to make room for me to hopefully get ice time. We’ll see the new coach coming in, too, so it’s going to be new dynamic, it’s going to be all different. I’m excited for next year.”
When asked about replacing Alexander Semin, general manager George McPhee said “we’ll try our own guys.” Perreault, 24, could figure into that mix. He had 16 goals and 14 assists this past season.
Perreault could be a top-six winger, but he’s not terribly concerned about his specific role.
“Even if I’m top nine forwards it’s no problem because the Caps when they’ve been playing well in the last few years they’ve always had three sets of lines,” Perreault said. “Even if I’m on the third or even the fourth line, it wouldn’t really matter. All I want is to get ice time and get a chance to play a little bit more. That’s it.”