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Re-signing pending UFA Alzner won’t be cheap for Capitals

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 24: Karl Alzner #27 of the Washington Capitals takes the puck in the second period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 24, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Karl Alzner has been a Washington Capital throughout his entire NHL career, but that might change this off-season.

Alzner, who was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, and bringing him back won’t be cheap for Washington.

With Brent Burns re-signing in San Jose for $8 million per season, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos believes Alzner could command $6 million per year.

Given their current situation, can the Caps afford that?

“If you’re now the Washington Capitals and you’ve got as many as 10 contracts expiring at the end of the year and one of them is Karl Alzner you’re going to have some challenges,” Nick Kypreos said on Saturday’s “Headlines” segment. “The problem now is the price has been set for Alzner, as much as $6 million they believe is the going rate for top-four defenseman. They can’t go down that path, not until you truly find out what you want to do.”

T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams, Daniel Winnik will also be UFAs next summer, while Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Schmidt and Philipp Grubauer can become RFAs.

The price definitely seems steep. Alzner usually averages around 20 minutes of ice time per game throughout his career and he’s never topped five goals or 21 points in a season. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a useful player. The 28-year-old brings some stability to his own end.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights could further complicate his return to Washington. Kypreos is also hearing that former Caps GM George McPhee could send a few shekels Alzner’s way once free agency opens on July 1st.

Of course, McPhee was the one who drafted Alzner back in 2007.