By Sky Kerstein

ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) — The Washington Capitals announced they’ve re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman John Carlson to a six-year, $23.8 million contract. 

Carlson will make $3.8 million next season and $4 million for each remaining year on the deal.

“I think for me it’s comfort level,”  Carlson said. “Knowing I’m going to be around, that I can focus on myself and the team rather than trying to focus on what comes next.”

The 22-year-old has grown fond of the Washington area and his teammates. Both played a large role in his decision.

“So I felt this is what I wanted to do and I was adamant about it,” he said.

Carlson lit the lamp nine times and added 23 assists in his second full season as a Capital.  He has played in 186 career regular season game and has tallied 17 goals with 58 assists during that time. 

Carlson also has played in 30 playoff games where he’s scored five goals and tacked on seven assists.

Facing the potential of a labor stoppage, both sides have been working to reach a deal before communications would have been forced to cease.

If a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by Saturday at 11:59 p.m. the NHL will lockout out it’s players.

“Given that if we’re in a work stoppage we can’t talk to anybody, we’re happy that we got it done today,”  Capitals General Manager George McPhee said.  “We’d been talking for quite a while, longer term deals are sometimes tough to put together so it took a long time. But we wanted that could work in any system so we were able to do that with John and with Troy [Brouwer].”

Carlson was not thinking about the potential lockout while signing the new contract.

“Right now all I know is I’m going to be around this weekend and I plan on skating next week,” Carlson said. “Our goal is to play hockey next year.”

The 6-foot-3 218-pound defenseman had a career low plus/minus of -15 in the regular season last year, a dramatic improvement over the career high +21 posted just two seasons ago.

“Obviously, happy for him,”  Capitals Head Coach Adam Oates said on the signing.  “I’m sure he’s happy. Great for the organization.”

Carlson has been paired mostly with Karl Alzner since their time together with the Hershey Bears in the AHL.

Listen here to what John Carlson, General Manager George McPhee & Head Coach Adam Oates had to say on the signing and the possible NHL lockout on Saturday.

John Carlson Press Conference Audio

George McPhee Press Conference Audio

Adam Oates Press Conference Audio


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