The Washington Capitals agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth $2.7 million with restricted free agent center Jay Beagle. It was announced on Friday by vice president and general manager George McPhee.
The Calgary, Alberta native originally joined the Capitals organization in 2007 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alaska-Anchorage. After a solid first year with the parent clubs American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears in 2007-08, registering 19 goals and 37 points, Beagle skated in three NHL contests with the Capitals just a season later.
But it will take plenty of hard work over the next few seasons to find full-time work in the Nation’s capital. In the 2010-11 season, the 26-year-old skated in 31 NHL games posting two goals and three points.
This past season, however, Beagle suffered a concussion in a fight against Arron Asham of the Pittsburgh Penguins in late October of 2011. The fight sidelined Beagle for the next several months.
After eventually returning to the Capitals lineup, Beagle would find a groove with head coach Dale Hunter. He played in 41 regular season games with an additional 12 games coming in the post season.
“I set out this past year to establish myself as a role player that can play in tight situations and be a guy that the coach can count on to throw out in defensive situations, especially penalty-kill which is a huge part of my game,” Beagle said on Friday. “It was obviously a tough start to the year. The finish was what I was looking to do all season. I’m hoping just to build on that and keep it going next season and just continue to get better as a player and help my team.”
As much as Beagle enjoyed fine tuning his game under Dale Hunter, he is equally as excited about playing for new head coach Adam Oates.
“He has already mentioned a few things I can work on this summer,” Beagle said. “I think it’s unbelievable to hear that from him. Already it seems that he cares about the development and he cares about you as a player to try to get you the best that you can be.”
~Center Mathieu Perreault was extended by the Capitals for two more seasons. The deal is worth $2.1 million per year.
~The Capitals also agreed to terms on a one-year, one-way contract with defensemen Jack Hillen. Hillen appeared in 55 games for the Nashville Predators in 2011-12.
~New Head Coach Adam Oates threw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight at the Washington Nationals game.
Darren is the Washington Capitals correspondent. He spent the 2010-11 season covering the Atlanta Thrashers and the 2011-12 season covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Feel free to contact him @ DKoz256@yahoo.com. You can also follow him on Twitter. DarrenCoslov