Karl Alzner might not do a ton offensively, but at the age of 24 he’s already a big part of the Washington Capitals’ defensive core.
Alzner has averaged close to 21 minutes per game over the last two seasons and that number jumped to an average of 22:18 during the 2013 playoffs. Going into 2013-14, he’s a candidate to be part of the Capitals’ top defensive pairing with Mike Green.
Despite that, he agreed to a four-year, $11.2 million deal that comes with a very reasonable $2.8 million annual cap hit.
“For me, it’s mainly about security, being able to stay in one place,” Alzner said, according to CSN Washington. “Knowing you have a deal for the next four year was something we were really interested in. Hopefully, it’s all in one place and I’m not traded or anything like that.”
That being said, he thinks being more of a defensive defenseman might have weakened his negotiating position. He passed on arbitration in part because his “game doesn’t really translate too well to a resume.”
Not like Capitals defenseman John Carlson who, for example, inked a six-year, $23.8 million deal after recording back-to-back 30-plus point seasons. Or Mike Green, who has dealt with significant injuries over the past few seasons, but still commanded a three-year, $18.25 million contract that started with the 2012-13 campaign.
“If I had 50 points [a season, not a career]] it would have been great for me financially,” Alzner said, “but that’s not my game. It hurts in the pocket book but I’m not complaining right now.”
Either way, he’s happy to be part of a Capitals team that he thinks is capable of accomplishing great things.