Capitals sign Wolski to one-year, $600k deal

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Sports,NHL,Capitals,Brian McNally

Forward should add a bit of scoring depth

The Capitals signed free agent forward Wojtek Wolski to a one-year, $600,000 contract on Wednesday.

Wolski, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound winger, is expected to provide scoring depth and could even earn playing time on the second line if he lives up to his past production. The 26-year-old has topped 42 points four times in his career, including a 65-point season in 2009-10.

But he's also on his fourth team in seven NHL seasons and is coming off two consecutive poor campaigns. Wolski had a combined 35 points in 2010-11 with the Rangers and Phoenix Coyotes and just 12 in 31 combined games with the Rangers and Florida Panthers last season. He missed 26 games with New York because of a groin injury and was traded on Feb. 25 to Florida, where he finished out the season.

"I think I had one bad year, and then this year was tough with the injury that I had surgery," Wolski said. "I think this upcoming year is a great time for me to bounce back, to show that I'm still a great player and I still have a lot of life left in me. Definitely I'm at a point in my career where I'm at a crossroads, and I've got to make it work."

Wolski said in meetings with team officials he was told he would play a top-six role. Restricted free agent Mathieu Perreault said the same thing when he re-signed with the team last week. A first-round pick by Colorado in 2004, Wolski played five seasons there before being traded to Phoenix in 2010. He is a native of Zabrze, Poland, and was roommates with current Caps left wing Matt Hendricks when both played for the Avalanche.

"I think Washington's a great fit. The team is offensively minded. There's a lot of very creative players," Wolski said. "I think the addition of Adam Oates as a coach is going to be good for everyone. There's a lot to learn from him. He was so gifted as a player that he can definitely teach you little things that you may not be able to learn from any other coach."

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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