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Defenseman Willie Mitchell approached his free agency like a chess match, so it’s only fitting he ended up signing with the Los Angeles Kings.

The rugged, stay-at-home, blue-liner signed a 2 year $7 million deal today after a calculated and thorough tour of his options around the NHL. It was a move disappointing many Washington Capitals fans who hoped to add his skill-set and toughness for the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup chase.

I’m hoping word leaks on how much the Caps offered up, if anything, just to get an idea on how much GMGM valued him. That’s a good-sized contract for someone with concussion issues that makes his name being a physical player. I do wish him success and hope his head issues are behind him.

The most important aspect for me as a Capitals fan is that management appears to recognize the deficiency in the “punch-you-in-the-face” abilities of the current roster. D.J. King appears to be a great addition in this regard, and I think Chimera helps get the job done as well.

There are still a couple of names out there, so it will be interesting to see if Kevin Bieksa (Vancouver) or Sheldon Souray (Edmonton) make their way to Washington or if the Capitals are indeed comfortable moving forward as is, with camp right around the corner.

If something is going to happen, Mitchell may have just cleared the game of chess and instead set the game of dominoes in motion.

Get more details on the Mitchell signing by visiting this article on NHL.com: Mitchell proves worth the wait for Kings