Capitals

Capitals

It was never a question of if, it was merely a question of how much.

And now we know: Evgeny Kuznetsov, after signing an 8-year, $62.4 million contract extension with the Caps on Sunday night, is among hockey’s highest paid players.

RELATED: CAPITALS RE-SIGN CENTER EVGENY KUZNETSOV TO 8-YEAR $62.4 MILLION EXTENSION

Consider:

  • Kuznetsov's $7.8 million cap hit is tied for the 16th highest among all players. Rick Nash’s deal also carries a $7.8 million cap hit.
  • On the Caps, the average annual value of Kuzy’s new deal ranks second behind only Alex Ovechkin’s $9.538 million. Nicklas Backstrom, the team’s first line center, ranks third at $6.7 million.
  • Among all centers, Kuznetsov’s cap hit is the eighth highest behind Jonathan Toews ($10.5 million), Anze Kopitar ($10), Evgeny Malkin ($9.5), Sidney Crosby ($8.7), Steven Stamkos ($8.5), Claude Giroux ($8.275) and Ryan Getzlaf ($8.250).
  • At 25, Kuznetsov is the youngest player with a cap hit over $7.5 million.

(All of the above figures are courtesy of CapFriendly.com)

Shortly after signing Kuznetsov, the Caps announced how they plan to shoehorn it all under the $75 million salary cap ceiling: they dealt winger Marcus Johansson (and his $4.583 million cap hit) to the Devils for second and third round picks in next year’s draft.

By subtracting Johansson, the Caps are now about $9 million under the cap with 14 players signed for next season, according to CapFriendly.com, and restricted free agents Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer still need to be re-signed. So, yeah, GM Brian MacLellan still has some work to do this offseason

MacLellan, by the way, is expected to speak to reporters on Monday morning. So perhaps some answers are forthcoming.

More Capitals: CAPS LOSE CAREY, FORMALLY ANNOUNCE CONNOLLY'S EXTENSION