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Capitals re-sign forward Chris Brown to two-year deal

(Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Tying up loose ends within the organization several weeks into free agency, the Washington Capitals re-signed forward Chris Brown to a two-year, two-way contract Thursday afternoon.

A 24-year-old restricted free agent this summer, Brown received a qualifying offer from the Capitals of $850,500. The terms of his new deal were not immediately known, as the Capitals do not release information on two-way contracts. His previous contract, a three-year deal worth $2.7 million including bonuses, netted him $900,000 at the NHL level last season, though he only spent five games there with Washington.

Instead, the versatile right-handed shot, a former second-round pick of the Coyotes in 2009, spent 64 games with the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League, registering 17 goals and 11 assists, plus five more points in nine postseason games. With the Capitals early in the season, primarily due to injuries in the forwards corps, Brown tallied a goal on Oct. 16 against New Jersey, but eventually took a one-way ticket to the minors after revisiting Arizona on Nov. 18.

Still, despite only 22 career NHL games, Brown should challenge for a depth spot on the opening day roster, depending on how General Manager Brian MacLellan proceeds. Another NHL-level addition, which hinges on the contracts given to forward Marcus Johansson and goaltender Braden Holtby, would likely ensure Brown returns to the AHL, where he should start on the top six. If not, Brown, Stanislav Galiev, Liam O’Brien, Zach Sill and others will compete for the 13th forward spot.

The Capitals acquired Brown in the Martin Erat trade on March 4, 2014. His agent did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

With Brown locked down, only Johnasson and Holtby are left unsigned as restricted free agents, and both filed for player-elected arbitration. Holtby’s hearing is scheduled for July 23 and Johansson’s is slated for July 29, both in Toronto.

Brown’s Hershey teammates were excited by his new deal.