Photo credit: Bruce Bennett
The Washington Capitals have announced that they’ve re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Karl Alzner to a four-year deal which will keep the gifted beard grower in DC through 2016-17. Alzner, who hasn’t missed a game for three consecutive seasons, is one of the team’s most underrated players.
General Manager George McPhee inked Alzner to both a long term and a low annual average salary, $2.8 million. Combined with brother-from-another-mother John Carlson, the two top pairing quality defenseman will count a combined $6.76 million against the cap for the next four years. That’s some A freaking 1 news right there.
With Alzner now taken care of, McPhee will now look to sign Marcus Johansson long-term. Per capgeek.com, the Capitals have $5,665,705 of cap space left.
And oh yeah, by the way, Alzner’s back on Twitter. TIME TO PARTY!
The press release from the Capitals is below.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Karl Alzner to a four-year contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Alzner will earn $2.8 million per year from 2013-14 through the 2016-17 season.
“We are very pleased to sign Karl Alzner to a contract extension,” said McPhee. “Karl is just entering his prime and has been a model of consistency for our organization since he entered the League. He plays tough and valuable minutes against some of the NHL’s top players every game.”
Alzner, 24, recorded one goal and four assists in 48 games during the 2012-13 season. He ranked third on the Capitals in average ice time per game (20:57) and finished ranked second in blocked shots (85). Last season marked the third consecutive campaign in which Alzner appeared in every Capitals game (including the playoffs), joining John Carlson as the only two players to appear in every Capitals contest since the 2010-11 season.
The Burnaby, British Columbia, native has collected 44 points (5 goals, 39 assists) and a plus-17 plus/minus rating in 263 career NHL games. Alzner ranks tied for seventh in games played among his 2007 draft class and has ranked in Washington’s top-3 in blocked shots each of the past three seasons. The defenseman has recorded one goal and four assists in 31 career NHL playoff games with Washington and ranked in the Capitals’ top-5 in average time on ice in each of the past three postseasons.
From 2008 through 2010, Alzner appeared in 103 AHL games with the Hershey Bears, collecting 41 points (seven goals, 34 assists) and a plus-57 rating while helping lead the team to the 2010 Calder Cup championship.
A two-time gold medalist at the IIHF World Junior Championship with Canada, Alzner captained the Canadian team in 2007-08 and was named one of the team’s top three players by the coaching staff. Alzner also represented Canada in the 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series and played for the WHL team in the 2006 Canada-Russia Challenge.
The 6’3”, 215-pound blueliner collected 117 points (19 goals, 98 assists) in 260 games with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2004-2008 and was named the WHL Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year in 2007-08.
Alzner was drafted by Washington in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.