John Erskine agrees to contract extension with Capitals (updated)


(Nick Wass/Associated Press)

 

Defenseman John Erskine and the Capitals have agreed to a two-year, $3.925 million contract extension that will keep him in the fold through the 2014-15 season.

Erskine, who turns 33 before the deal goes into effect, will earn $1.925 million in 2013-14 and $2 million in 2014-15. He was in the final season of a two-year, $3 million deal and would have become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

“It is good to be here for another two years,” said Erskine, who is currently in his seventh season with the Capitals. “We made this city our home for the family and the kids go to school here, so it is good. We’ve enjoyed it a lot here.”

The rugged 6-4, 220 pound defenseman found a fresh start this season under Coach Adam Oates. In 11 games this season he has a goal, an assist and is averaging a career-high 19 minutes 30 seconds of playing time per contest

It’s significantly more responsibility than he saw under former coach Dale Hunter, who seldom used the veteran blueliner last year. Erskine played just seven of 38 games between Jan. 3 and March 23, 2012, before he was put on injured reserve for the final seven contests of the regular season.

“He’s played very well and he’s played well for us over the years,” General Manager George McPhee. “I thought he should’ve played more for us last year. Unfortunately he didn’t. But he brings something that we like a lot. He’s a good player who plays tough and keeps people honest.”

TSN’s Bob McKenzie first reported that the Capitals were nearing a deal with the defenseman.

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Katie Carrera · February 25, 2013