Capitals re-sign defenseman Jeff Schultz, place Michael Nylander on waivers

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Washington Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz signed a four-year, $11 million extension on Wednesday, and thus avoided salary arbitration.

Schultz enjoyed a breakout 2009-10 season, amassing three goals, 20 assists and an NHL-leading plus-minus rating of plus-50, which was also a franchise record.

The 24-year-old first-round draft pick (27th overall in 2004) will earn $2.5 million in the first two years and $3 million in the final two for a $2.75 million charge against the salary cap.

"I kind of saw salary [filing for] arbitration as a precautionary measure in case something didn't get done, so we weren't kind of left with nothing." Schultz said. "It does take away one year of [unrestricted free agency], but I'm happy with where the numbers were and was willing to give up that one year."

With Schultz back in the fold, the Capitals have 19 players under contract for next season (including rookie Marcus Johansson). Assuming restricted free agents Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr are re-signed for a combined total of approximately $5 million, that would leave the Capitals about $4 million under the salary cap ceiling of $59.4 million, and two roster spots short of the maximum of 23.

Fleischmann and Fehr have applied for arbitration and will have their salaries determined by an independent third party if they do not strike a deal with the Capitals in the coming weeks.

Capitals notes: Washington placed center Michael Nylander on waivers in the hopes that another team is interested in taking him off the Capitals' payroll. It could be a viable option for a financially strapped franchise that needs to reach the salary cap floor -- a team such as the New York Islanders -- because Nylander's cap hit next season ($4.875 million) is more than his salary ($3 million). . . . Trade-deadline addition Joe Corvo signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract to return to Carolina.

-- Tarik El-Bashir

© 2010 The Washington Post Company