Capitals sign John Carlson to 6-year, $23.8 million deal

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The Washington Capitals beat the lockout clock in tying up the final loose end of their offseason. John Carlson has a new contract, and it’s not a one-year, see-what-happens kind of deal.

No, the Caps signed the 22-year-old defenseman to a six-year, $23.8 million contract that keeps him in Washington through the 2017-18 season. Carlson’s cap hit will be $3.967 million.

Carlson had something of an uneven season in 2011-12 with nine goals, 23 assists and a minus-15 rating. His playoffs, however, were exceptional, as the 22-year-old excelled as a shutdown defenseman against the Bruins and New York Rangers.

And while he was a restricted free agent, Carlson has repeatedly stated his desire to remain with the Caps.

“I think that they’ve done a magnificent job. You look at the team last year and into the playoffs I don’t know the exact number but it had to be seven or eight guys just that I can think of that fast that have done the same kind of thing that I did,” he said. “I think that’s cool. I think that you create a special bond with those guys. … It’s kind of cool to see that.”

Carlson will be paid $3.8 million next season and $4 million each of the next five.

“John is a talented young defenseman who has played very well for the Capitals and still has room to grow,” general manager George McPhee said in a statement.  “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.”

McPhee, Carlson and coach Adam Oates are set to address reporters at 1:30 p.m.

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