Cap Comparables: John Carlson’s new deal ranks among NHL’s richest

Watch as John Carlson’s passing opens up Alex Ovechkin for his 24th goal of the season and the Washington Capitals even the score with the Boston Bruins.

The Washington Capitals were intent on keeping their guy and they did.

News broke on Sunday that pending unrestricted free agent John Carlson had agreed to an eight-year contract worth $64 million to stay in Washington, D.C., a deal that will give Carlson the NHL’s 16th-highest cap hit (tied with four others at $8 million) in 2018-19.

The 28-year-old led all defencemen in points this past season with 68 and has been at or near 40 points in each of the past five seasons.

Here’s how his new deal stacks up to some of his contemporaries.

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks: Eight years, $8-million cap hit

Burns signed his extension in November of his walk year (2016-17), keeping him in San Jose for the foreseeable future.

The bearded Burns already had a reputation as one of the game’s best offensive blueliners, and he rewarded the Sharks by winning the Norris Trophy that season.

The 33-year-old is paid to produce and he shook off a rough start in Year 1 of his big deal to finish the 2017-18 season with 12 goals and 67 points.

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning: Eight years, $7.875-million cap hit

The Lightning wasted no time with Hedman, getting the star defenceman inked on July 1, 2016, a full year before the Swede would have become a UFA.

Hedman has developed into an elite two-way defender, and he leads a Lightning team that has been considered a Cup contender for the past few seasons. His 17 goals were tied for first among NHL rearguards this past season, and his 63 points ranked fifth.

He’ll be 34 when his contract expires, whereas Carlson will be 36.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes: Eight years, $8.25-million cap hit

Ekman-Larsson’s reported deal, which he can’t officially sign until Canada Day, keeps the slick-skating Swede in the desert, where he’s spent all eight of his NHL seasons.

The 26-year-old still has one year remaining on his current contract, after which he would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency.

He’s had a productive tenure with the Coyotes, breaking the 20-goal mark twice and cracking the 40-point mark four times, including this past season.

Arizona appears to be a team on the rise, and Ekman-Larsson will likely get more recognition among the NHL’s best defencemen should the Coyotes take a leap out of the league’s basement.

All in all, Carlson’s new deal pays the Natick, Mass., native like a top-flight NHL rearguard, and considerably more than Washington’s next-priciest defenceman, Matt Niskanen, who makes $5.75 million per season.

But winning pays, and you can’t blame GM Brian MacLellan for wanting to keep his championship-winning core together.

The biggest winners of this deal might be Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty, perennial Norris Trophy contenders who must be eyeing an eight-figure average annual value in their next contracts.


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