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The Washington Capitals have agreed with defenseman John Carlson on an eight-year, $64 million contract, the team announced Sunday.
The agreement will keep Carlson from hitting the free agent market when it opens July 1. He was scheduled to begin meeting with teams during the league's "interview period" this week before players can officially sign with teams next Sunday.
"John has been an exceptional and consistent player for our franchise and has blossomed into being one of the top defensemen in the NHL," general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. "Defenseman like John are a rare commodity in our League and, at 28 years of age, we feel he is just entering his prime.
"As a right-handed defenseman, John plays in all key situations and has contributed greatly to our team's success on the special teams. We are pleased for both parties to have come to an agreement and for him to continue his great career as a Washington Capital."
Washington cleared $5.5 million in salary on Friday by including 37-year-old Brooks Orpik in a trade that sent goalie Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche, who then began the process of buying out Orpik.
MacLellan said the team would be open to re-signing Orpik after he is bought out, depending on how much it would cost.
Carlson led all NHL defensemen in points during the regular season with 68 (15 goals, 53 assists), setting career highs in all three marks while averaging a team-high 24:47 of ice time. He played in every regular-season game for the sixth time in nine NHL seasons since being drafted 27th overall by the Capitals in 2008.
Carlson added 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) during the team's run to the Stanley Cup title, averaging 25:38 of ice time.
--Field Level Media