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Nylander (Back) to the Caps

It's a done deal.

After nearly two full days of negotiations -- and a premature report out of Edmonton -- Michael Nylander, who was the Caps' top free agent choice, is headed back to Washington. It's a four year deal. I don't know the money yet, but will get that to you as soon as I find out.

This is a critical signing for the Caps and especially for Alex Ovechkin, who finally will have a top-flight set up man to feed him passes. Nylander, 34, posted a career high 26 goals and 83 points last season while skating on the Rangers' first line with Jaromir Jagr.

The Rangers, of course, signed Chris Drury and Scott Gomez yesterday, which kind of squeezed Nylander out of the picture. Jagr, according a quote I read this morning, wasn't too happy about Nylander's departure.

Update 5:30: Nylander's deal will pay him $5.5 in each of the first three years and less in the fourth year. Still trying to nail this one down. But it sounds like this was done to protect the Caps.

The Caps made this pitch to Nylander yesterday, but it took him more than a day to make up his mind. Nylander is home in Sweden, which is another plus to Nylander that shouldn't be understimated: He's going to be able to speak in his native tongue to 19-year-old Nicklas Backstrom, who also is a center.

Update 5:57:The fourth year is $3 million, which means the cap hit will be $4.875 million.



By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 2, 2007; 4:39 PM ET
 
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