The Washington Times - July 31, 2009, 12:41AM

Washington Capitals defenseman Milan Jurcina was awarded a one-year contract worth just under $1.4 million, a league source confirmed late Thursday night.

Since that number falls below the amount that a team can walk away from (as part of the collective bargaining agreement), the deal is binding and leaves the Caps with 10 defensemen under contract.


Jurcina, 26, earned just over $900,000 last season when he played 79 games with the Caps.

The decision came down late Thursday, more than 48 hours after Tuesday morning’s hearing in Toronto. Returning a message requesting comment, Jurcina’s agent, Allan Walsh noted he couldn’t talk about the dollar figure but said: “We’re pleased with the result.”

Walsh said the five-to-six-page opinion analyzing the decision “obviously took some work” Walsh said, which likely contributed to the delay past the expected 48-hour window.

Jurcina joins Norris Trophy finalist Mike Green, Shaone Morrisonn, Tom Poti, Jeff Schultz, John Erskine, Brian Pothier, Karl Alzner, Sean Collins and Tyler Sloan as the 10 defensemen with NHL experience Washington has under contract. That doesn’t even include John Carlson, the 2008 first-round pick who is highly regarded in the organization.

“I think it’s great to have the depth,” Pothier said earlier Thursday. “Obviously there’s gonna be some disappointed people come training camp, and that’s a juggling act that they have to do is to try to keep everybody happy. I don’t envy their position, but to have the depth at that position, it’s nice. It’s a nice luxury to have.”

- Stephen Whyno