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Capitals re-sign Paul Carey, Aaron Ness to two-way deals

Paul Carey, center, scored once in four games with the Caps last season. (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

BUFFALO — The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Paul Carey to a one-year, two-way contract and defenseman Aaron Ness to a two-year, two-way contract, the team announced Friday night before the NHL Draft.

When in the NHL, Ness’s salary will be $575,000 in the first year and $650,000 in the second year, and when playing in the American Hockey League, Ness will earn $275,000 in the first year and $425,000 in the second year. For Carey, his cap hit in the NHL will be $575,000 and then he’ll make $387,500 when in the AHL.

Both players spent the majority of last season with the Capitals’ American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, and they’re expected to do the same next season.

With injuries taking their toll on the Capitals’ defense last season, Ness impressed in the eight games he played, averaging 12 minutes and 23 seconds of ice time. The slick skater recorded two assists and was a plus-four, and he might have seen more playing time had the Capitals not been hesitant to make him waiver-eligible.

Ness posted 27 points (six goals, 21 assists) in 62 games with the Hershey Bears last season, signed to a one-year deal last summer. He ranked second among Bears defensemen in points and assists and tied for second in goals and third in plus/minus, with an AHL-best 12 assists in 21 playoff games as the Bears reached the Calder Cup Finals.

Carey, meanwhile, scored one goal in four games with the Capitals last season, scoring the game-tying goal Feb. 6 at New Jersey for his first NHL tally. Selected by Colorado in the fifth round, 135th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft, he has registered two points (one goal, one assist) in 26 career NHL games with Colorado and Washington. The 27-year-old had 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 44 games with Hershey last season.

The re-signings mark Washington’s first contract news of the offseason.