McPhee locks up Alzner for next four seasons
By signing a four-year contract worth $2.8 million a season, Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner gained a measure of financial security.
He also left the Capitals with some extra money to spend on what remains of a weak free agent market, and he says he hopes they use it.
“We haven’t done a whole lot, trying to lock up some of the guys we have right now,” Alzner said Wednesday night on a conference call with reporters, referring to himself and restricted free agent Marcus Johansson.
“But there’s still a ton of good players out there that, if we have the opportunity to get, can help us tremendously.”
The Caps currently have about $5.7 million in cap space. Johansson is likely to eat up close to $2 million of it with his new contract. That would leave the Caps with roughly $3.7 million to spend on a free agent, although general manager George McPhee has said he’s not interested in what remains on the market.
The list of available unrestricted free agents includes Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Mikhail Grabovski, Dustin Penner, Milan Hejduk and Brad Boyes.
Alzner said the Caps have a “great core of players" and still thinks the Caps will be a “great team” next season, but added:
“It would be nice to try and get one more big-name guy in there. But regardless if that happens, we’re going to be very competitive and the guys are ready to go.
“We weren’t really happy with the way things ended at all last year. I’m hoping it motivates us. You hope one more year of maturity and experience can be the key we need to push us over the hump. We’ll keep our fingers crossed at the end of the year.”