The Washington Times - July 1, 2011, 01:48PM

Goodbye, Boyd Gordon.

The Caps’ faceoff specialist and ace penalty-killer is off to Phoenix after signing a two-year deal with the Coyotes worth $2.65 million.

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Gordon said he’ll miss Washington, where he’s familiar with everyone in the locker room.

“It’s definitely a tough decision to leave, but it’s a new challenge and I’m excited about it,” Gordon told The Washington Times Friday afternoon.

Gordon’s parents have a house in Arizona, but he said that was more of a coincidence than a factor in his decision to sign with the Coyotes.

“My parents are obviously excited about,” he said.

But it was too good an offer to pass up, even taking that out of the equation.

“It’s a great deal. You never really know what to expect. That’s part of the reason I wanted till July 1 just to see what’s out there,” Gordon said. “It was a great offer and I think a good opportunity.”

Gordon had spent seven seasons with the Caps, earning a reputation as a solid fourth-liner and Bruce Boudreau’s faceoff guy. In the playoffs, even early in games, Gordon would be out there for key draws – because Boudreau trusted him in that role.

The Caps now hope Jeff Halpern, whom they signed to a one-year, $825,000 deal Friday, can fit that role. Gordon made $800,000 last year with Washington; he’ll get $1.3 million in 2011-12 and $1.35 million in 2012-13.