This will be Halpern’s second stint with his hometown team. Halpern, 35, first joined the Capitals in 1999 as an undrafted free agent and he spent six seasons in Washington.

Halpern, who will enter his 12th NHL season in the fall, played 72 games with the Montreal Canadiens in the 2010-11 season and recorded 11 goals and 26 points. He averaged 2:20 minutes of short-handed ice time per game for the Canadiens.

Not long after Washington’s acquisition of Halpern became known, the departure of a long-time Capital also surfaced.

After seven years in Washington, unrestricted free-agent center Boyd Gordon will no longer wear a Capitals’ sweater. Gordon signed a two-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes that will pay him $1.3 million the first season and $1.35 million the second.

Update: Gordon's agent said the centerman did have an offer from the Capitals, but he's looking forward to a new challenge in Phoenix.

Update: Not sure if we’ll hear from Jeff Halpern today. He’s on his honeymoon, I’m told.

--Live updates: NHL free agency