Capitals re-sign Karl Alzner to four-year contract

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Karl Alzner will make $11.2 million over four years with the Capitals. (USATSI)
Karl Alzner will make $11.2 million over four years with the Capitals. (USATSI)

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The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Karl Alzner to a four-year, $11.2- million contract, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

Alzner, a restricted free agent this summer, will count $2.8 million against the salary cap through the end of the 2016-17 season.

"We are very pleased to sign Karl Alzner to a contract extension," general manager George McPhee said in a team statement. "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."

The Capitals drafted Alzner with their first-round pick (No. 5 overall) in 2007. He's been a regular on their blue line in each of the past three seasons, appearing in every game since the start of the 2009-10 campaign.

He's become one of their most reliable players on the blue line and when McPhee says he plays tough minutes against the NHL's top players, he's not kidding. Just looking at this past season, Alzner's most common opponents during 5-on-5 play were, in order of minutes against, Jordan Staal, Evander Kane, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Blake Wheeler, and Ilya Kovalchuk.

He's also a regular on the Capitals' penalty kill.

Given how important he is to their blue line and how well he's played, it's a pretty strong deal for the Capitals to get their top defensive defenseman signed for less than $3 million per year.

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