The Washington Capitals have garnered plenty of attention this offseason for the addition of five veteran free-agents to the dressing room, but on Friday the team ensured that one of its young home-grown defensemen will remain in the fold for two more years.
Washington signed Karl Alzner to a two-year contract worth $2.57 million, which is widely considered a bargain price for the 22-year-old who established himself as half of the Capitals’ shut-down pairing in his first full NHL season.
Alzner, 22, will earn $1.3 million in 2011-12 and $1.27 million the following year, while the contract translates to an annual salary cap hit of $1.285 million — $390,000 less than what the final year of his entry-level deal counted against the cap.
In a conference call with reporters, Alzner admitted that some salary was left on the negotiating table. But as a restricted free agent without arbitration rights or any offer sheets from other NHL teams, his leverage was limited.