Capitals sign defenseman Erik Gustafsson as Justin Schultz joins Kraken

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Caps sign defenseman Gustafsson as Schultz joins Kraken originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals’ blue line lost one veteran defenseman and gained another Wednesday.

Following two seasons in Washington, Justin Schultz reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Kraken worth approximately $3 million. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the terms. A few hours later, the Capitals announced they were signing 30-year-old Erik Gustafsson to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

Schultz, 32, had appeared in 120 games for the Capitals since signing a two-year, $8 million deal to leave the Pittsburgh Penguins and suit up for his former rivals. He tallied 50 points across the two seasons including 43 assists and appeared in all 11 of their playoff games over that span.

Gustafsson has bounced around the last few years but spent the 2021-22 season with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team with which he originally made his NHL debut in 2015-16. He appeared in 59 games, recording 18 points, 55 blocks, 45 hits and 10 takeaways.

In addition to bringing in Gustafsson, the Capitals also reportedly re-signed defenseman Matt Irwin to a one-year deal. The NHL salary cap blog PuckPedia reported that the contract was worth $750,000 if Irwin plays in the NHL and $450,000 should he be relegated to Hershey.