After four years in the Capitals organization, veteran center Keith Aucoin is moving on.
Aucoin, an unrestricted free agent this summer, has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $350,000 at the AHL level. The news of Aucoin’s signing with Toronto came hours after the Capitals refuted a report that the forward was returning to Washington.
Aucoin, 33, has spent the bulk of his professional career in the American Hockey League but after earning a spot on the Capitals’ fourth line under Dale Hunter late in 2011-12, he hoped to get a one-way deal. Given Washington’s depth among the bottom six forwards, it seemed unlikely that there would be room for Aucoin.
“He’s looking for a one-way deal in the league somewhere,” McPhee said in early July. “It was our understanding if he didn’t get it he’d go to Europe to play.”
Over the past four seasons, Aucoin appeared in 49 regular season games with the Capitals — 27 of which came last year — and recorded six goals and 22 points. He played in all of Washington’s 14 playoff games last season as well.
During that same span, though, he appeared in 238 regular season games with the AHL’s Hershey Bears recording 89 goals and 344 points. Aucoin also helped lead the Capitals’ top minor league affiliate to back-to-back Calder Cup championships in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
“Thanks to all the #caps and #bears fans for your support the last 4 years!” Aucoin tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did!”