The Capitals on Monday signed goalie Braden Holtby to a two-year contract extension worth $3.7 million. They also have signed defenseman John Erskine to a two-year contract extension worth $3.925 million with a $25,000 signing bonus.
Holtby, 23, was set to be a restricted free agent this summer. Erskine, 32, was headed for unrestricted free agency. He has been with the team since 2006. Only Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich and Mike Green have been in the NHL with Washington longer.
“We’ve made this city our home, the family, and kids go to school here,” Erskine said. “We enjoy it a lot here.”
Erskine said Caps general manager George McPhee and assistant general manager Don Fishman began negotiating with his agent, Pat Morris, three weeks ago. Unlike last season, when Erskine appeared in just 28 games and assumed his time with the Caps was short, he is now playing top-four defensive pair minutes and is working well with fellow defenseman John Carlson.
“[Erskine has] played very well and he’s played well for us over the years,” McPhee said. “I thought he should have played more for us last year. Unfortunately he didn’t. He brings something that we like a lot. He’s a good player who plays tough. He keeps people honest.”
Meanwhile, Holtby gets a similar treatment as fellow goalie Michal Neuvirth prior to last season. A restricted free agent, he gets a two-year contract with a sizeable raise from the $637,777 he makes this season. It’s been a strong start to 2013 for Holtby, who will start a seventh consecutive game on Tuesday when Washington hosts the Carolina Hurricanes. Holtby will earn $1.7 million in 2013-14 and $2 million in 2014-15. Neuvirth signed a two-year deal worth $2.3 million in 201
“It’s nice to have it out of the way,” Holtby said. “You didn’t really want it to come down to a stressful summer, so he’s got that out of the way and just focus on hockey now, and it just feels good to have it done and now we can move forward.”
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