Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan hoped a contract with defenseman John Carlson would be done by Saturday. Instead, negotiations dragged into Sunday where, as the NHL’s CBA allows, Carlson began getting calls from other interested teams looking to land the NHL’s leading point-getter among defensemen on July 1.
According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, used the Oliver Ekman-Larsson contract as a guide to get the deal done. Once the two sides agreed on the annual average salary ($8 million), the final sticking point was Carlson’s signing bonus money.
LeBrun writes (subscribe to The Athletic here):
The Caps contract offer started in the seven’s and needed to get to the magical number which started with an eight, but in fact, the last remaining hurdle was figuring out the signing bonus money in the potential lockout seasons of 2020-21 and 2022-23. Curran wanted a bit more than what he got in those years in signing bonus money but the Caps insisted that T.J. Oshie and Evgeni Kuznetsov, who also signed eight-year contracts last year, had $2 million tops in signing bonus money those years so Carlson couldn’t go over that, either.
Curran conceded but made sure that the extra $5 million in signing bonus he still had to place somewhere didn’t disappear so it ended up at the front of the deal in the first two years which is why Carlson begins the deal with a $6.5-million signing bonus in each of the first two years.
MacLellan refused to give Carlson more than the $2 million in signing bonus money that Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie will receive in potential lockout years (2020-21, 2022-23), but front-loaded the contract to keep the defenseman happy.
Carlson will get $28 million in signing bonus money and $36 million in total salary over the next eight years. He will make $12 million per season during the next two NHL campaigns.
|$28 million||$36 million||$64 million|
The contract makes Carlson the third highest-paid defenseman in the NHL (along with Brent Burns) and will be the second highest-paid player on the Capitals.
He will also have a modified no-trade clause.
Carlson contract is made up of $28 million in total signing bonus money and $36 million in salary; modified no-trade clause, first four years 15 teams, last four years 10 teams
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 24, 2018
Headline photo: @Capitals
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