Rick Green, the Washington Capitals' best defenseman this past season, has signed a three-year contract with the team after going through last season as a free agent.

Green, 24, signed with the Capitals after lengthy negotiations and after apparently proving to the team this season that they could not afford to let him leave to sign with another club.The contract also includes an option year and is expected to make Green one of the highest paid memebers of the team.

Green, 6 feet 3 inches and 207 pounds, was the first pick in the 1976 amateur draft for both the Capitals and the NHL. His playing time his first two seasons was limited because ofa broken right wrist and a separated shoulder. But he has remained healthy the last two seasons and this past season blossomed into a solid defenseman. He had four goals and 20 assists in 71 games.

He has often been mentioned in trade talk, but after 1979-80 General Manager Max McNab and Coach Gary Green decided they wanted Green to remain in Washington. Green was the first Cap to play out his option without being traded before the end of his option year.