Perreault, Beagle set to come back to Capitals

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Sports,NHL,Capitals,Brian McNally

Restricted free agents receive new deals

The Capitals took care of two of their four restricted free agents Thursday when they signed forward Mathieu Perreault to a two-year contract worth $2.1 million and forward Jay Beagle to a three-year deal worth $2.7 million.

Perreault, 24, scored a career-high 16 goals last season. He spent much of the final three months of the regular season as Washington's second-line center once Nicklas Backstrom was knocked out of the lineup Jan. 3 with a concussion. Perreault appeared in only four Stanley Cup playoff games, however -- all of them during the opening-round, seven-game series against the Boston Bruins. He didn't play after Game 4. But with a new coach in Adam Oates and open spots on the top two lines if winger Alexander Semin departs as expected, Perreault sees an opportunity.

"Talking with the organization, my agent [Paul Corbeil], I know they told me I was part of the elite forward of the team," Perreault said. "They see me on top lines, and they think I could do good things for them."

The versatile Perreault also set career highs in games played (64), assists (14), points (30) and plus-minus rating (+9) last season. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder gets a bump from his $525,000 contract, and his new salary-cap hit is $1.05 million.

"I've been playing on the fourth line. I've been playing on the first line. I've been playing on the power play. I've been put in different situations, and I've handled everything pretty well so far," Perreault said. "It's good for me if they can put me in all different situations. You don't want to be just an offensive guy or just a defensive guy. You want to be able to do everything, and I think in the last couple of years I've been able to show what I could do."

Beagle, 26, missed 31 games after a concussion suffered Oct. 13 in Pittsburgh. But he recovered to become the team's third-line center by the Stanley Cup playoffs with career highs in goals (four), points (five), games played (41) and penalty minutes (23). He played in the team's first 12 postseason games with a goal, an assist and 18 minutes, 25 seconds of ice time per game before a broken foot ended his season in Game 5 of the second-round series against the New York Rangers. His salary-cap hit is $900,000 per year.

Defensemen Mike Green, 26, and John Carlson, 22, are the Caps' remaining restricted free agents. Green elected not to pursue salary arbitration by the NHL-mandated deadline of Thursday at 5 p.m. He has until July 15 to accept the team's $5 million qualifying offer. Carlson is not yet eligible for arbitration.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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Brian McNally

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner