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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Caps sign John Erskine to a two-year contract extension

The Capitals have announced that they've signed defenseman John Erskine to a two-year contract extension. Erskine is in the final year of a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

More to come.

Erskine's extension, which will carry him through the 2012-13 season, will pay the rugged defenseman a total of $3 million -- $1.5 million per year. It's a modest raise from his current contract that is worth $1.25 million for the 2010-11 season.

For Erskine, who has a young family, this was an easy decision to stay with a team where he's grown comfortable since coming to Washington as a free agent at the start of the 2006-07 season. In 31 games this year, Erskine has averaged 15:10 minutes of ice time per game, tallied a career-high three goals and carries a plus-3 rating.

"It's always nice that they're thinking about you, and when my agent [Pat Morris] called me and said they called and want to ink you on for a couple more years it was definitely a good feeling," Erskine said. "It's nice to not have it in the back of my mind I guess and just get back on with the season."

By extending Erskine's contract and signing Tom Poti to a two-year extension in September the Capitals will have only two free agents this summer among their regular contingent of defensemen. Recently acquired Scott Hannan will be an unrestricted free agent while Karl Alzner is set to become a restricted free agent. But Washington still has six forwards that will become unrestricted free agents at the end of this season.

By  |  12:13 PM ET, 12/17/2010

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