George McPhee and the Washington Capitals put an end to this blogger’s pipe dream that consisted of Karl Alzner donning an Edmonton Oilers jersey next season by signing the defenseman to a new two-year $2.57 million contract. Alzner partnered with John Carlson on the Capitals blueline last season, and played in all 82 games, registering 2-goals and 12-points. In signing Alzner, the Capitals are sitting above the NHL’s $64.3 million hard salary cap.
More on the details of Alzner’s deal from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider:
Alzner, 22, was the only remaining restricted free agent on last year’s NHL roster remaining to be signed and Washington was able to reach a salary-cap friendly agreement with the Burnaby, British Columbia native. Alzner will make $1.3 million in 2011-12 and $1.27 million the following year.
The annual salary cap hit of Alzner’s new contract will come in at $1.285 million — $390,000 less than that of the final year of his entry-level deal last season.
McPhee has made, arguably, the biggest splash this offseason by adding several role players to his team in Joel Ward, Roman Hamrilik and Troy Brouwer – while also re-signing Brooks Laich and adding Tomas Vokoun at a cool $1.5 million.
The Capitals salary cap situation is somewhat worrisome, but they could see some relief in the form of long-term injury reserve, according to Carrera:
Based on calculations on Capgeek, Alzner’s deal pushes Washington back over next year’s salary cap maximum of $64.3 million by a little more than $890,000. Teams are allowed to exceed the ceiling by 10 percent during the offseason and if Tom Poti starts the year on the long-term injured list because of continued problems with his groin it would free up $2.85 million and ultimately allow Washington to be in compliance with the cap.
Alzner was a first round selection (5th overall) in 2007. In 133 NHL games he has totaled 22-points.