- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Goaltender Pheonix Copley joined the Washington Capitals organization in 2014 and was traded to the St. Louis Blues a year later. Then he was traded from the Blues back to Washington at the trade deadline in February.

Now, he’s signed a new contract to stay with the Capitals.

Copley, 25, signed a two-year contract Wednesday with the Capitals worth $1.3 million.

The contract is two ways in the first year, meaning Copley would make a different amount of money if he played with the Capitals versus the Hershey Bears, the Capitals’ AHL affiliate. Copley would make $650,000 in the NHL and $200,000 in the AHL.

In the second year of the deal, Copley’s contract is one-way and will be paid $650,000 regardless. Copley’s contract won’t count against the salary cap unless he is on the Capitals’ roster.

The move gives Washington some insurance if backup goalie Philipp Gruabauer leaves in free agency. Grubauer’s exit is highly unlikely, though, since he is a restricted free agent and the Capitals hold his rights.

Still, Copley is an option if Gruabuer were to ever get hurt and starter Braden Holby needed a backup.

Copley had a .921 save percentage in 46 AHL games last year. He has appeared in just two games in the NHL, both with the Blues.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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