The Washington Capitals announced today that they have re-signed defensemen Karl Alzner to a two year deal. Alzner, who was a restricted free agent, signed for $1.3M in 2011-12 and $1.27M in 2012-13 according to Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) from WashingtonCapitals.com. #27, who was the fifth overall selection in the 2007 NHL Entry draft, is an excellent defensemen so this was an absolutely great deal for the Caps from a salary cap standpoint. When the contract expires Alzner will be a restricted free agent again with arbitration rights, assuming the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement does not change.
King Karl could have received an offer sheet from any team holding their own 2nd round draft pick for up to $3.14M a season and the draft choice would have been all the Caps would have gotten in return, if they opted not to match (my gut says they would have matched an offer like that). However, ever since Kevin Lowe inked Dustin Penner from Anaheim in the summer of 2007 and upset Ducks GM Brian Burke, there has not been any significant NHL RFA signings.
This deal puts Washington just under $65.2M (thanks cap geek) or about $900K over the salary cap, however, that includes defensemen Tom Poti, who will likely retire or start the season on long term injured reserve. Poti is set to count $2.875M against the cap in 2011-12 and if he can’t play then General Manager George McPhee has cap room to maneuver and continue to upgrade his team, as needed.
Below is the full press release on the Alzner signing from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Karl Alzner to a two-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to have re-signed Karl Alzner to a two-year contract,” said McPhee. “We feel he’s an important part of our defensive core who logs critical minutes against other teams’ top players.”
Alzner, 22, recently completed his first full season in the NHL, playing in all 82 games with the Capitals and posting career highs in goals (two), assists (10), points (12), penalty minutes (24) and plus/minus (+14). His 132 blocked shots were third on the team while his 98 hits were tied for seventh. Alzner was one of just three NHL defenseman aged 22 and younger to play in all 82 regular-season games. In addition, he ranked sixth on the team in average time on ice per game (20:00). The Burnaby, British Columbia, native recorded an assist in nine playoff games and was tied for second on the team with 20 blocked shots.
From 2008 through 2010, Alzner appeared in 103 AHL games with the Hershey Bears, collecting 41 points (seven goals, 34 assists) and a plus-57 rating while helping lead the team to the 2010 Calder Cup championship.
A two-time gold medalist at the IIHF World Junior Championship with Canada, Alzner captained the Canadian team in 2007-08 and was named one of the team’s top three players by the coaching staff. Alzner also represented Canada in the 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series and played for the WHL team in the 2006 Canada-Russia Challenge.
The 6’3”, 206-pound blueliner collected 117 points (19 goals, 98 assists) in 260 games with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2004-2008 and was named the WHL Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year in 2007-08.
Alzner was drafted by Washington in the first round (5th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Notes: The also re-signed Hershey forward Francois Bouchard to a one year deal…Caps development camp ends on Saturday with Fan Fest and a scrimmage at 10am at Kettler IcePlex.