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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Caps sign John Erskine to a two-year contract extension

By Katie Carrera

The Capitals have announced that they've signed defenseman John Erskine to a two-year contract extension. Erskine is in the final year of a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

More to come.

UPDATE
Erskine's extension, which will carry him through the 2012-13 season, will pay the rugged defenseman a total of $3 million -- $1.5 million per year. It's a modest raise from his current contract that is worth $1.25 million for the 2010-11 season.

For Erskine, who has a young family, this was an easy decision to stay with a team where he's grown comfortable since coming to Washington as a free agent at the start of the 2006-07 season. In 31 games this year, Erskine has averaged 15:10 minutes of ice time per game, tallied a career-high three goals and carries a plus-3 rating.

"It's always nice that they're thinking about you, and when my agent [Pat Morris] called me and said they called and want to ink you on for a couple more years it was definitely a good feeling," Erskine said. "It's nice to not have it in the back of my mind I guess and just get back on with the season."

By extending Erskine's contract and signing Tom Poti to a two-year extension in September the Capitals will have only two free agents this summer among their regular contingent of defensemen. Recently acquired Scott Hannan will be an unrestricted free agent while Karl Alzner is set to become a restricted free agent. But Washington still has six forwards that will become unrestricted free agents at the end of this season.

By Katie Carrera  | December 17, 2010; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  John Erskine  
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Next: Semin won't travel to Boston; Hannan and Sloan both sick

Comments

HAPPY BIRTHDAY VERMONT!!!

Posted by: capscoach | December 17, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey vermontcaps, whats your addy, so I can mail you a box of tissues to clean up the mess you just made?

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

NO BRAINER!!! This guy is one of the most underrated players on the team. Merry Christmas, Lumberjack!!! WELL DESERVED. I will be sporting my brand new, shiny #4 sweater at the Winter Classic and into the New Year!!!

Posted by: doughless | December 17, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Good time to start giving out contracts...right in the middle of a losing streak...beat em down, and convince them they are worthless..

Posted by: SA-Town | December 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"Our defense is complete."

After having seen 24/7, I'm really not that impressed with BB. Lots of bark, no bite.

Good guy I'm sure, but as a x's and o's guy, he seems a bit rudimentary.

Posted by: Jordan_Kitts | December 17, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear it -- he's worked hard this year to earn this one.

Posted by: nicko | December 17, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Erskines deal is 2 years, $3M.

Posted by: ThePat | December 17, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

SA-Town: Good point. Maybe we can get Laich and Varly on the cheap as well.

BTW, anyone want to guess on the contract value? I had in my cap spreadsheet this:

Erskine (resigns 2011-2013) 1.300

So, nostrathomas had correctly predicted the two years extension and let's see how close on dollars.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

at least one guy will have some confidence going into the bruins game.
if they just extend the other 22 - they'll all have the warm and fuzzy's and this slump will be over

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Good news. I hope that we keep Semin also.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Erskines deal is 2 years, $3M.

Posted by: ThePat | December 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Then you tell him not to get upset after you clearly switched the stats because you weren't happy with the ones he displayed. Seriously, are you crazy buddy? Get over yourself for the 10,000th time.

Posted by: ThePat

Huh? He posted a stat and then I posted a stat. I didn't "switch" the stats. I put up the records as the NHL keeps them. If anyone "switched" them it would have been him. But I am fine with how he presented his statistic. There was truth in the statistic which makes it fine and he presented it in a fine way. The reason he chose 36 games instead of 39 or 33 was to try to put his point across. Again, that is fine. I decided to choose 39 and show the statisitc in the way the NHL shows them to show how easy it is to manipulate some statisitcs to support your opinion(he did it and then I did it).

So I had no problem with his presentation. But then he told me to stop being anal. I was only doing the exact same thing he was doing. I find it funny when people go by the mantra "do as I say not as I do".

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

rumors that Caps are interested in veteran goalie. they should also consider a deal for some veteran help at center or wing.

Posted by: doughless | December 17, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

after the Avs game and Semin's cross check performance, i hope more than ever that he will go bye-bye. any guy who cheapshots like that (because he is too big a wuss to fight the dude giving him grief) and then stands around pleading to the refs as his teammate gets pummeled (Brooksie, in this case) is a prime example of what this team could use less of. he is a wuss and a head case. deal the guy and address some of the weaknesses (C, W or vet goalie) this team obviously has.

Posted by: doughless | December 17, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

OK, next year cap with Ersk included. Lots o' room for now.

Ovechkin (2008-2021) 9.538
Backstrom (2010-2021) 6.700
Semin (re-signs 2011-2016) 6.700
Laich (re-signs 2011-2015) 3.500
Fehr (impending RFA) 2.200
Chimera (impending UFA) 1.875
Bradley (re-signs 2011-2013) 1.100
Steckel (2010-2013) 1.100
Hendricks (re-signs 2011-2013) 1.000
Johansson (EL signed 2010) 0.900
Eakin (EL signed 2009) 0.740
King (impending UFA) 0.638
Beagle (impending RFA) 0.513
AGordon (impending RFA) 0.500
S/T 14 Forwards 37.004
Green (impending RFA) 5.250
Hannan (resigns 2011-2013) 3.750
Poti (2011-2013) 2.875
Schultz (2010-2014) 2.750
Erskine (2011-2013) 1.500
Alzner (resigns 2011 - impending RFA) 1.000
Carlson (2010-2013) 0.846
S/T 7 Defensemen 17.971
Varlamov (re-signs 2011-2013) 2.000
Neuvirth (2011-2013) 1.150
S/T 2 Goalies 3.150
Total 23 Players 58.125
Cap Space (projected) 62.400
Available 4.275

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

One bright spot during a very dark period!

Management got 'this' right, now kick BB to the curb and bring in a playoff proven coach!

Posted by: FLDave | December 17, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

sgm: Starting with the exact game where Martin went to the slot-clogging defense, the caps are 18-18 counting OT losses. That's the point. Unless the Caps can learn to "beat the clog," in addition to this on-going project to play better D, they can't be expected to do well in the Playoffs.

Two problems: offense AND defense.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 17, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Good for Big John! He is still reasonably young at 26 or so (I believe) and continuing to improve. Good extension.

Posted by: _Mark | December 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@Mark

he's 30.

Posted by: ThePat | December 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"Starting with the exact game where Martin went to the slot-clogging defense, the caps are 18-18 counting OT losses."

Martin tried the same defense in games 1-4 also. The Caps were just able to get the puck in the net in thos games. So I still think your choice of game 5 is as arbitrary as my choice of using game 2.

It's fine, there is no problem with starting from there because the statistics you put up are true. But so are mine. Other people can take them however they want. I think it is good for people to look at both sides and make determinations however they want.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of the 'Our defense is complete' stuff. I saw it last week when Green and Schultz were both out, and also when Poti was out. Let's see how our D looks when everyone is healthy and available to play, and then make a judgement. Of course or D is incomplete when we have Fahey and or Sloan in the lineup. Sickness and injury made 27 and 74 out top pair at one point. Rookies! That being said there is still room for improvement, and maybe our offense can take a little pressure off the D by scoring some goals.

We have lots of call ups in the lineup too... Fahey, Sloan,Beagle, A. Gordon, Perreault. Add in rookies Alzner, Carlson, Neuvy, Varly and we got half the Bears playing for us. Don't forget Majo- not a Bear, but another rook.

And can we please have Caleb Green sing the national anthem so we can win again?

Posted by: griz0615 | December 17, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

LOTS of us were crapping all over Erskine last season.

This season he has looked considerably better and more valuable.

I like this move.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 17, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Erskine must be furious with this organization as they keep treating him so horribly. The other players will probably revolt against GMGM, BB and Ted because of this continued unfair treatment of Erskine. The organization has no respect for Erskine.

This has been the mantra of vermontcaps the entire season. Hmmmm.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

Erskine has a young family that he would rather not have to uproot, that has everything to do with his decision to sign an extension. I agree that he has been screwed over this year without a doubt. If anyone should sit when everyone is healthy it is Poti but that will not happen.

Posted by: PhilR | December 17, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Pronger out up to 6 weeks for Philly, let's see how they play w/o him

Posted by: DaleHunter | December 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

If getting "screwed" is being signed to a 2-year $3M guaranteed contract the by all means sign me up.

If Erskine was truly getting screwed he would've signed somewhere else. It would be diffuclt to move his family, but families are able to do it constantly. So if he was able to get more money and not "screwed" by another organization he would have done so.

It is possible that he, in fact, is not getting "screwed" by the organization and is more than happy that the Caps are willing to guarantee him that much money.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat
Thanks for the correction I thought he was at the upper end of our younger group of D but not 30.

Posted by: _Mark | December 17, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Just watched the DVR with the HBO special...I could have sworn I saw Ovechkin on the ice for a practice...can someone confirm?

I loved the "sensitive skin" comment...that was great...

And regards to Bruce's language. This is real life people. The hockey world uses the F-Bomb to motivate (at the older levels). It has a different meaning...just YOUTUBE..MEANING OF THE WORD "F***" (for the Penguin trolls, you have to actually type the word)..

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 17, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Glad for Erskine! Good deal for him and the Caps!

Posted by: capscoach | December 17, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I am glad. First because #4 has lately been playing some of his best hockey yet, and second because he is being rewarded for it.

I am curious how those who have ragged on GMGM for signing "too many soft players" are reacting to this move.

Are they finally willing to cut GMGM some slack (even just a teensy bit?), on the grounds that this signing seems to reward the toughness and stay-at-home defensive responsibility that we all value? Or will it just be seen as further justification to trash GMGM for spending valuable cap room on a defenceman who--though serviceable and hard-working--is not considerd elite?

As for me, I say: Good on you, John. Now keep doing what you've been doing, stay healthy, and go kick some Bruin @$$!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 17, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I know this sounds like a broken record, a broken record, a broken record....

but I can't stand seeing Eric Fehr in a caps jersey...and even worse...seeing him in the HBO coverage...

I hope they get his reaction when he is traded to the flippin Islanders...

Posted by: SoaringCaps | December 17, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Watching what's unfolding with the Skins today, it just goes to show why I've never been a big fan of hiring these coaches who believe more in their "system" than actually getting the most outta what they have.

That's why coaches like Belichick and Parcells are a hundred times better than the Shanahans of the world.

Posted by: joek443 | December 17, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

You sir are truly the biggest tool that comes on this board, it was sooooo nice on here when you were gone for quite a while. If you can not see that Erskine has been screwed as far as ice time then you are as blind as they come. If ice time is given by on ice eprformance then Poti should be getting about 10 minutes per game while Erskine should be getting closer to 20 per contest. And you can take your sarcasm and shove it pal.

Posted by: PhilR | December 17, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I believe the organization understands and appreciates what Erskine brings to the ice game in/game out. The coach is the one who decides who will sit. As everyone has known or beginning to realize BB is clueless.

"F this F'ing plan isn't F'ing working for F! I'll F'ing keep F'ing shuffling the F'ing same F'ing useless F'ing players and F'ing sit F'ers that give a F. Where the F is my F'ing boy Fehr? F'ing give him a F'ing jersey right F'ing now! You F'ers wanna hear some F'ing Bird Calls?"

Posted by: FLDave | December 17, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

wait...something is going on with the skins?

Posted by: capscoach | December 17, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

You sir are truly the biggest tool that comes on this board, it was sooooo nice on here when you were gone for quite a while. If you can not see that Erskine has been screwed as far as ice time then you are as blind as they come. If ice time is given by on ice eprformance then Poti should be getting about 10 minutes per game while Erskine should be getting closer to 20 per contest. And you can take your sarcasm and shove it pal.

Posted by: PhilR |

It is apparent you just want to find something to say that management is "screwing" somebody. Whatever. That is who you are, always desperate to find a way to say how the "man" is out to screw "the good old guy" even if it isn't true at all.

Seriosuly, they just re-signed him to a $3M guaranteed contract. Erskine would have been a UFA. He didn't have to sign the contract. So I do NOT buy that he was being screwed or that he feels he is being screwed. He would not have signed the contract if he felt that way. Erskine's decision to sign the contract shows how he feels.

@PhilR

Even though you call me names I still love you and wish you nothing but the best during the holiday season.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 17, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

wait...something is going on with the skins?
----------------------

LOL yeah apparently the Shanahans are out to prove that their system can make a QB outta Rex Grossman... talk about being arrogant and delusional

Posted by: joek443 | December 17, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see this for Erskine. Not the most talented but a hard worker. Now if only Poti weren't signed for another two...

@SoaringCaps agreed. watching Fehr skate is just painful sometimes. Most high school players can skate waaay better than him

Posted by: c_majors | December 17, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Rhino40

I used to rag on GMGM constantly in his early years, but he's assembled an awesome team. Every team has it's holes, but I believe GMGM has done well over the last couple of years. That being said, I hope he can look past BB's regular season accomplishments and bring in a playoff proven coach.

Posted by: FLDave | December 17, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be a downer, but next year our D consists of:

Green
Schultz
Poti
Carlson
Alzner
Erskine

The Poti contract still baffles me.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 17, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

well done, GMGM.

My new year's wish list:

1) we abandon any attempts to be the Devils of 99. We go back to our high flying ways. (That requires #2 and #3)

2) Ovie loses and weight and regains explosiveness.

3) Green remembers it is his offense that makes him exceptional.

(And, no, I don't care if we win the cup. Flair matters...)

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 17, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"I am curious how those who have ragged on GMGM for signing "too many soft players" are reacting to this move."

---

It's a great move, we need more players like Erskine. I just hope that BB now starts rewarding his play with ice time now that his play has been rewarded by GMGM with $$$.

That said, the exception doesn't disprove the rule, and the amount of praise heaped on management should be directly proportional to their actions. Just because they are to be praised for this move doesn't mean they shouldn't be criticized for other moves.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@RedLitYogi

While I will be satisfied with a good team this season that works hard, to say I don't care about the cUp is a little extreme. I want the cup, but I also accept that even with a great team, you still have to be kinda lucky to win it. So lets start playing solid games and hope we get lucky in the end.

Posted by: capscoach | December 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@ PhilR

"If ice time is given by on ice eprformance then Poti should be getting about 10 minutes per game while Erskine should be getting closer to 20 per contest."

Really you think Poti should get 10 minutes a game, WTF, he shouldn't even get that based on the game against the Ducks. He is soft !!!!!!!! He is on the same level as Esskay !!!!! Once Double Nickles is good to go Poti and Esskay can write reviews of the Concessions or even make wave files for Caps365.

CONGRATS ERSKINE !!!!!!!!!!

Maybe some of the others will see what you get of you work !!!!!!!

Posted by: bqts | December 17, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if they were going to ink this, good move, $3mm 2 yrs good money for us, I was thinking he would have gotten more elsewhere, someone would have signed a big bruiser like him for more than this. Funny we extend Ersk after BB benching agnst Montreal in PO for 'bad matchup.' I still can't believe no one called him to carpet for that. A D who's been in our lineup all year and played well and you scratch him all 7 games bec he's a bad MU, since when does the 1 seed match up against 8 seed. They need to match up against us, that send a bad message. Another bonehead BB move, sorry I know this is in the past but I've been meaning to vent on this for months and this reminds me. I just hope we don't resign Hannan for what he's making now, that will ruin us for years.

Posted by: collegehockeyfan | December 17, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Poti is terrible. He's soft, somehow can't figure out how to clear the puck out of the zone, and really doesn't have much of an offensive upside apart from a nice pass or goal every 20 games.

If Hannan pans out and they resign him and add a solid, tough, mean stay at home D then maybe...maybe..the D will be "complete".

Posted by: c_majors | December 17, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

WELL DONE, both #4 and Caps organization. He earned it, it's a fair extension, and perhaps this is a sign the culture is turning for the better within the org. (rewarding hard-work, dedication, and commitment).

The signing is a start, and it's fired me up and I'm feeling positive again.

GO CAPS, KICK BRUINS A@@

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 17, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Good signing. Good price, #4 gets 2 years. I don't think he gets much more on the open market. I'm glad to have him for a few more years.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@ VTDuffman...agreed. Which is why I said "a teensy bit".

As for BB: whether one thinks he's doing a good job or not, one thing that seems clear from 24/7 is that he does not seem to be coddling any of the players as he has often been accused of doing.

Of course, all the F-bombs dropped in the midst of the intense stress of a losing skid may not provide a properly informative baseline of how BB conducts the team--and himself--day-to-day.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Surprised Erskine, whose been them best defenseman for the CAPs this year, would put up with the crappy way they've treated him the past couple years.

Posted by: festus75 | December 17, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse


Have you ever heard of a place called "123 Get Samples" on the web, they give out a free samples of major brands to promote their products. I just got mine.

Posted by: gladysdavis18 | December 18, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=345872

For those whoe don't understand his importance. I'll bet you'd appreciate him if Washington's softies had to play AGAINST him. The comments by assorted fans say's it all!

Posted by: FLDave | December 18, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

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