WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals are bringing back three players who have spent most of their careers with the Hershey Bears. The Caps signed Garrett Pilon, Bobby Nardella, and Mike Sgarbossa to two-year contracts, bringing back three important players to the organization who will likely spend time in Hershey again this coming season. Pilon and Nardella’s contracts are two-way deals in their first year and become one-way contracts in their second season. Sgarbossa’s contract is a two-way deal for both seasons.
Pilon, 23, signs after making his NHL debut this past season on May 8. Pilon recorded 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 14 games this past season in Hershey and was recalled to Washington’s taxi squad after recording a three-point game (one goal, two assists) on March 21. The 6-foot, 190-pound forward has spent the last three seasons in Hershey. Pilon tallied at least a point in ten of 14 games he played in Hershey this past season, including five multi-point games, and had already shattered his scoring record from his rookie season by recording 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) over 61 games in the shortened 2019-20 season. Pilon has recorded 85 points (32 goals, 53 assists) in 146 career games with the Bears.
Nardella, 25, returns to the fold after spending the 2020-21 season with Djurgardens in Sweden and was unable to play for the Bears before the season’s end due to injury. Nardella had 31 points (four goals, 27 assists) in 41 games during the 2019-20 season for Hershey. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound defender led Djurgardens in scoring with seven goals and 26 assists for 33 points in 47 regular-season games and an assist in three playoff games. Nardella will be a key fixture on the power play, likely in a similar vein to Christian Djoos in years past, a role he was quickly growing into before the season shutdown.
Sgarbossa, 28, was one of two players to hit 30 goals with the Bears during the 2018-19 season, tallying 65 points (30 goals, 35 assists) in 75 games played. During the shortened 2019-20 campaign, Sgarbossa put up 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) in 39 games, continuing his great pace. He played the beginning of the season with Hershey but served on the taxi squad for the Capitals in mid-March and briefly returned for one game on May 15 and missed Hershey’s season finale due to injury. Sgarbossa played five games with the Capitals in 2021, registering two assists, and his NHL total is at 55 games played. The 6-foot, 185-pound forward has been a key contributor for the Bears and will continue his role for the next two seasons.
A thing of beauty for Mike Sgarbossa! pic.twitter.com/7xltyJ0IPy
— Bears Hockey Nation (@HBHNationBlog) March 6, 2021
The signings go a long way towards shaping Hershey’s roster for the 2021-22 season, depending on further moves by Washington as the off-season continues. The Capitals only a few more players remaining as pending free agents, as Beck Malenstyn, Lucas Johansen, and Shane Gersich are restricted free agents, while Cameron Schilling, Paul LaDue, and Daniel Carr are unrestricted free agents.
The NHL’s free agency period begins July 28.
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