John Carlson

Caps ink Carlson: six years, $23.8 million


The plight of three unsigned RFA defensemen — Michael Del Zotto, P.K. Subban and John Carlson — has been one of the offseason’s most compelling storylines.

Today, Carlson’s story came to an end.

The Capitals announced they’ve inked the 22-year-old blueliner to a six-year, $23.8 million deal. The contract has an average annual cap hit of $3.97 million, a pretty significant pay raise from the $845,833 Carlson made on his entry-level contract.

“John is a talented young defenseman who has played very well for the Capitals and still has room to grow,” Washington GM George McPhee told the team website. “He wanted to make a long term commitment to the team and we are delighted that this young man who is an important part of our future will be a member of the club for many years to come.”

In his first two full seasons at the NHL level, Carlson scored 37 and 32 points while playing all 164 regular season games.

He was a key contributor to Washington’s surprising playoff run of a year ago, leading all defensemen in scoring (five points) while averaging over 24 minutes a night.

Two interesting notes on this deal:

1) The Caps will a lot of contracts on blueline for 2012-13 (yeah yeah, if there’s a season). Carlson, Mike Green, Roman Hamrlik, Tom Poti, Jeff Schultz, John Erskine and Karl Alzner are on the books for $21.6 million while Dmitry Orlov ($900,000) and Jack Hillen ($650,000) are also in the mix.

2) What happens with Del Zotto and Subban? It always felt like a race between those two and Carlson to see which one would dictate the market, especially considering how comparable the three are:


Subban (23 years old): 81 games played, 7G-29A-36PTS, 24:18 average TOI

Carlson (22): 82 games played, 9G-23A-32PTS, 21:52 average TOI

Del Zotto (22): 77 games played, 10G-31A-41PTS, 22:26 average TOI

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.