Capitals

Capitals

For the first time in his NHL career, defenseman Karl Alzner has signed with a team other than the Washington Capitals. It's being reported that Alzner has agreed to terms with the Montreal Canadiens on a five-year deal. 

Alzner has spent his entire nine-season NHL career with the Capitals proving himself to be one of the most dependable defensemen on the team. The veteran defenseman had an iron man streak of 599 games snapped in the postseason this year due to an upper body injury. It was the first time he has missed a game for the Caps since 2010.

A stay at home defenseman, Alzner does not fit the mold of the speedy puck-moving style the NHL seems to be moving more towards in recent years. But Alzner still has value as a shutdown defenseman, penalty killer and shot blocker. So why could the Caps not retain him?

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The biggest reason is money. At 28 years old, this will be Alzner’s “cash in” deal, the big contract he signs while in his prime after a solid resume of work. A cash-strapped Capitals team simply could not afford to pay him the $22.5 million that Montreal is committing to him. 

In 591 games with the Caps, Alzner scored 19 goals and 98 assists. Along with his strong defensive play, fans in Washington will miss his personality and especially his mustache.