With the NHL poised for a lockout this weekend and a baby on the way, Troy Brouwer was more than ready to sign a contract extension with the Capitals. He and the team agreed to a three-year, $11 million deal that keeps Brouwer in Washington through the 2015-16 season. The salary-cap hit will be a relatively reasonable $3.667 million.
The contract won't kick in until next season as Brouwer finishes the final year of a two-year deal. But the organization obviously likes what the 6-foot-3, 213-pounder brings to the table. Brouwer is a physical player, usually among the league leaders in hits, and produced 18 goals and 15 assists last season. He's also a versatile presence in the lineup who can play a second- or third-line role and spent some time on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom last season, too. His Stanley Cup championship experience with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10 doesn't hurt, either.
For Brouwer, it was a chance to grab some security before the NHL's collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players' Association expires this week. No one knows how all that will shake out, so there was a rash of deals signed with players in the final days before the current agreement expires Saturday at 11:59 p.m. He also sees promise in the organization's offseason moves, which included re-signing defenseman Mike Green.
"I really like where the team is headed right now," Brouwer said, also noting the addition of veteran center Mike Ribeiro in a trade with Dallas in June. "I thought we made a lot of good progress last year with our season, going into the second round and being a team that could really compete."
- Brian McNally