- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2018

John Carlson said Monday that it was “my intention all along” to return to the Washington Capitals as long as a new deal could get done.

That’s exactly what happened Sunday evening, as Carlson signed a new eight-year, $64 million contract to stay with the Capitals. The defenseman was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“I spent a lot of time with the guys in the room, most of them for my whole career,” Carlson said. “It’s obviously a big friendship and wanting to be around your friends is nice. All the other things — I love the city. I love being around here. It’s my home. It was pretty easy for me to want to say.”

That’s not to say that Carlson was going to take a hometown discount. His new contract makes him the league’s second-highest-paid blueliner in terms of average annual value.

“It’s my job to figure out where I’m gonna live and where I’m gonna play and the situation and all that stuff,” he said. “Whatever your intentions are, you still have to do your due diligence because there’s more to it for me than that.”

Before Carlson and the Capitals agreed to terms Sunday, there were reports that he had begun taking phone calls from other teams.

But the Washington region is also Carlson’s home in a quite literal sense. He is the team’s only player who lives in the area 12 months a year. His wife Gina, who is from the area and recently gave birth to the couple’s second child, wrote on Instagram Sunday that “we secretly hoped we’d be staying in dc & bought land to build the southern home & big front porch we’ve always dreamed of having together.”

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