The Capitals signed defenseman Karl Alzner to a two-year deal worth $2.57 million Friday that ties up the remaining loose end of the offseason.
Alzner, 22, was the only remaining restricted free agent on last year’s NHL roster remaining to be signed and Washington was able to reach a salary-cap friendly agreement with the Burnaby, British Columbia native. Alzner will make $1.3 million in 2011-12 and $1.27 million the following year.
The annual salary cap hit of Alzner’s new contract will come in at $1.285 million — $390,000 less than that of the final year of his entry-level deal last season.
Based on calculations on Capgeek, Alzner’s deal pushes Washington back over next year’s salary cap maximum of $64.3 million by a little more than $890,000. Teams are allowed to exceed the ceiling by 10 percent during the offseason and if Tom Poti starts the year on the long-term injured list because of continued problems with his groin it would free up $2.85 million and ultimately allow Washington to be in compliance with the cap.
Based on the current collective bargaining agreement, when the contract expires Alzner will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The current CBA is set to expire after the 2011-12 campaign, though, and those respective eligibilities could change.
In his first full NHL season, Alzner established himself as half of the Capitals’ shut-down defensive pairing and didn’t miss a single game in the 2010-11 campaign. Skating alongside John Carlson, Alzner finished the regular season with a plus-14 rating and 12 points last year.
“We are pleased to have re-signed Karl Alzner to a two-year contract,” General Manager George McPhee said in a news release. “We feel he’s an important part of our defensive core who logs critical minutes against other teams’ top players.”