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Will the Caps sign Carlson before the deadline?

Is there a risk here...?

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Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is having a career year and it takes place at the perfect time for the blue liner, since his six-year, $23.8 million contract ($3.96M cap hit) expires this July. 

If Carlson does not re-sign with the Caps, he would be one of the most sought out players on the free-agent market.

However, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told Tom Gulitti of NHL.com that he does not feel the urgency to sign him before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

I don’t think so. I think in the beginning , we were wondering where we were going to be as a team, we’re going to want him back no matter what, so we’re going to make our best effort to bring him back.”"It's been impressive what he's done, especially with [Matt] Niskanen's injury (missed 13 games from Oct. 14 to Nov. 12). He's really stepped up for the team, taken on the extra minutes, played hard. He's gotten through it. He's put up great points. He's having a great year. He's been here a long time, he's been a big part of the organization and, hopefully, he continues to be going forward."

Hoepefully for the Caps and MacLellan, Carlson will be looking to stay in Washington as well and the situation will resemble the one of they took with TJ Oshie when the team gave the forward an eight-year retirement contract in June 2017.

Carlson, who was snubbed for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, has 34 points this season which ranks second only to John Klingberg (30) in scoring among NHL defensemen. Carlson is also fourth among all NHL players in ice time 26:17.