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John Carlson signs 6-year deal with Capitals before CBA Armageddon

Getty ImagesDefenseman John Carlson, shown here dancing Gangnam Style, is a foundational player for the Washington Capitals' future, even if his 2011-12 season was affected by the dreaded sophomore jinx.

On Friday, one day before the current CBA expires, the Caps finally handed their 22-year-old restricted free agent his new contract: six years, $23.8 million.

From the Capitals:

"John is a talented young defenseman who has played very well for the Capitals and still has room to grow," said McPhee. "He wanted to make a long term commitment to the team and we are delighted that this young man who is an important part of our future will be a member of the club for many years to come."

Carlson, 22, recorded 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) and 22 penalty minutes in 82 games last season with Washington, setting a career high in goals scored. He finished the season ranked second among Capitals blueliners in goals, points and shots (152) and tied for the team lead among defensemen in power-play goals (4).

The contract breaks down as $3.8 million in 2012-13 and then $4 million per season after that. Well, until the inevitable salary rollback in the new CBA, of course.

So if John Carlson -- an American Hero, for the record -- is worth a $3.967 million cap hit, what does Karl Alzner get in his next contract?

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