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Capitals, Tom Wilson agree to seven-year extension

August 4, 2023, 5:19 PM ET [1 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Wire
The Washington Capitals decided to end their work week with one hell of an investment, as the club came to terms with winger Tom Wilson on a seven-year, $45.5 million extension.

The contract, which will begin in 2024-25, will come with a $6.5 million cap hit, and keep Wilson in Washington through his Age-36 season.

"Tom possesses all the intangibles needed to win in this League and we are extremely pleased to sign him to a long-term contract, giving him the opportunity to finish his career in a Capitals' uniform," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement confirming the deal. "Throughout his career, Tom has improved every facet of his game through his drive and competitiveness. We feel his work ethic and leadership qualities will be a tremendous asset to our organization for years to come."

Despite being limited to a career-low 33 games last year, the 29-year-old Wilson remained effective on the scoring front, with 13 goals and 22 points.

But the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Wilson also posted a career-low minus-13 rating, and given the injury woes Wilson dealt with last year — he had a delayed start to the season due to his recovery from a torn ACL and then suffered a ‘small ankle fracture’ shortly into his comeback — it’s worth wondering if the physically demanding style of play that Wilson plays with is beginning to age his body.

And when you have power forwards like Wilson, you have two choices: You either sell while the
value is still high or you buy in and hope that the player and the contract does not age like milk.

The Capitals are clearly going with the latter here, and with the hope that Wilson is healthy and productive and that the expected salary cap explosion in the not-so-distant future allows the contract to age just fine.

When Wilson’s new contract kicks in, he will be the fourth-highest paid Washington forward behind Alex Ovechkin ($9.5 million), Nicklas Backstrom ($9.2 million), and Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7.8 million), and will be the fifth-highest paid Capital overall when factoring in defenseman John Carlson and his $8 million average annual value.

Wilson, a first-round pick of the Capitals back in 2012, has scored 128 goals and 295 points in 680 career games, and was part of Washington’s Stanley Cup-winning squad in 2018.

The Capitals, meanwhile, are coming off their first did-not-qualify season since 2013-14.
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