The offseason might have just started for the Stanley Cup champions Washington Capitals, and several moves are expected to be done this summer, but one player is looking to keep on partying a little more.
According to National Hockey League freelancer Katie Brown, one Capitals unrestricted free agent has confirmed his intention to sign a contract extension with Washington for next season. Veteran forward Jay Beagle has made it clear that he wants to return with the Caps next year.
“This is my home. I want to come back here.”
Beagle has been a fan favorite and has given great arguments for the Capitals to keep him in the last week. The forward made hockey history as the only player to win a championship in the ECHL, American Hockey League and NHL.
Beagle won the ECHL's Kelly Cup with the Idaho Steelheads 11 years ago, and also hoisted the AHL's Calder Cup in back-to-back seasons (2009 and 2010). Then, on Thursday, he celebrated with captain Alex Ovechkin the franchise's first Stanley Cup in history.
Now 32 years old, Beagle is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but his latest comments surely make it clear he wants to stay with the team. Beagle signed with the Caps as an undrafted agent back in the 2008-09 season.
He tallies seven goals and 22 points over 79 regular-season games while scoring twice and added six assists in 23 contests in the postseason. The Capitals could surely benefit from keeping such a champion on board.
The most coveted free agent in Washington, and all over the league for that matter, has been Beagle's teammate, defenseman John Carlson. The 28-year-old stands out of top-pairing, right-shot defensemen, who are in short supply. He led all blueliners in scoring (68 points) in the regular season and he led all defensemen in the playoffs (20 points in 24 games).
The Caps keep stating they want to retain Carlson, whose expected salary will be north of $7-million for a term of no less than 5 seasons. After six years of over delivering on a $3.97 million cap hit, Carlson will cash in.
The Capitals faced a similar cap crunch last summer and they will have to make the pieces fit in the financial puzzle. While they still need to figure out what to do with Beagle, Tom Wilson (RFA), Devante Smith-Pelly (RFA), backup goalie Philipp Grubauer (RFA), and Carlson’s smart rental partner Michal Kempny (UFA), Beagle should not cost them too much.
Let's see what the Caps focus on first...