The Washington Times - June 14, 2011, 11:23PM

The Capitals are a long way from shoring up their 2011-12 NHL roster, but they’re taking several steps to ensure Hershey and the organization at large has plenty of depth, especially on the blue line.

The Caps agreed to terms with defenseman Patrick McNeill on a two-year deal worth $525,000 annually, according to Cap Geek (widely known as the most trusted NHL salary cap website), which first reported the contract.

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McNeill was considered one of Washington’s top options late in the season when it needed an extra body on defense. Sean Collins was the choice, but the 24-year-old McNeill may have a higher upside moving forward.

McNeill picked up a $25,000 a year raise from last season when he had seven goals and 20 assists for Hershey. He was the Caps’ fourth-round pick (118th overall) in the 2005 draft.

Earlier this offseason the Caps (and by virtue the Bears) resigned Zach Miskovic, a defenseman much less likely to see NHL time in the near future. Dmitri Orlov is considered the next Hershey defenseman to get a promotion, depending on how the Caps’ blue line shapes up in the coming months.