One of several key Capitals to punch his ticket out of town in the offseason, Karl Alzner signed a five-year deal with the Canadiens in July, ending a decade in Washington's organization. Known for his durability -- the last regular-season game he missed was in 2009-10 -- and defensive acumen, Alzner won't be much of a fantasy factor even if his minutes rise as expected with his new organization. He may be able to maintain his typically sterling rating, as he'll go from guarding the crease of one stud goalie (Braden Holtby) to another (Carey Price), but don't look for him to provide more than about 20 points, and that's a best-case scenario.
Alzner has fully recovered from the hand injury he sustained in the first round of last season's playoffs. Alzner signed a five-year, $23.125 million contract with Montreal this offseason, so he'll be expected to slot in as a top-pairing defender alongside Shea Weber in 2017-18. The 28-year-old has never been known for his offensive contributions -- he's only cracked the 20-point mark twice during his nine years in the NHL -- but he should thrive as a shutdown option in front of elite goaltender Carey Price.
Alzner (hand), as expected, signed a five-year, $23.125 million contract with the Canadiens on Saturday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports. By acquiring Alzner, the Habs get one of the league's toughest shutdown defenders. We're talking about six straight seasons without missing a single contest, though an upper-body injury that Alzner sustained in mid-April snapped the ironman streak of 599 consecutive games played, and a hand injury that won't require surgery crept up in the postseason. Despite the new evidence that he's human, Alzner should attract any fantasy owner involved in a league that imposes a heavy scoring weight on defensive totals. He amassed 360 hits and 534 blocked shots in his last three years with the Caps, and he could be in line for a substantial role with speculation that Andrei Markov has played his last game as a Hab.
Alzner (hand) is expected to sign a five-year, $23 million deal with Montreal on Saturday, Darren Dreger of TSN reports. Alzner had visited with Montreal in the days before free agency's official July 1 start so the destination isn't all that surprising. The former fifth overall selection from the 2007 NHL Entry Draft has been a stalwart defensive defenseman for the Capitals over the last nine seasons, and has a regular-season ironman streak of seven seasons heading into 2017-18. The 28-year-old defenseman has a lot of tread on his tires, but he will be surely missed by the Capitals, who now find themselves down a few top defensemen after losing Nate Schmidt to the Golden Knights in the expansion draft and Kevin Shattenkirk to free agency.
Alzner (hand) will hit the free-agent market, effectively ruling him out as the Golden Knights' pick in the expansion draft, Pierre Lebrun of TSN reports. Per Alzner's agent, he and Vegas had an "interesting chat," which leaves the door open for the defenseman to potentially sign with the NHL's newest team after the start of free agency July 1. The 28-year-old is not known for his offensive contributions -- just 13 points in 82 games -- but rather as a shutdown defender who can take on opposing teams' top players. This past year, Alzner recorded a plus-14 rating along with 135 hits and 207 blocked shots -- which may limit his fantasy value, but makes him a hot commodity for NHL general managers.
Alzner (hand) is not expected to be re-signed by the Capitals, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports. In his season-ending press conference, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan repeatedly referred to a top-four group made up of John Carlson, Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt. The implication here is that Alzner is not currently envisioned as part of the organization next season. A major caveat in all of this is whether the Caps lose a defenseman in the upcoming expansion draft, but given his off year in 2016-17, spate of recent injuries, and expected price tag, it doesn't appear that the Capitals will break the bank to keep Alzner.
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