Capitals Sign Clark to 3-Year Extension

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 26, 2005

ARLINGTON, Va. – Chris Clark liked what the Washington Capitals did to improve this offseason so much, he decided to stick around.

Clark could have become an unrestricted free agent after next season, but Washington’s captain instead signed a $7.9 million, three-year deal Wednesday.

“A lot of it had to do with security. Other than that … I really wanted to be a part of next year and beyond,” Clark said. “I like where I am. I like the organization. I love the area.”

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The 31-year-old right wing is coming off his best season, with 30 goals and 24 assists. He ranked third on the team in goals and points and tied for fifth in the NHL with four short-handed goals.

He has 50 goals and 43 assists in two seasons with the Capitals after arriving in a trade from the Calgary Flames.

“Chris is a consummate professional and a terrific leader,” general manager George McPhee said. “He has been an integral part of our team’s growth in the past two seasons, both on and off the ice.”

After two post-lockout seasons as a last-place team on a low payroll, the Capitals vowed to spend more in an attempt to build a playoff team around star Alex Ovechkin.

The highlights of this offseason included signing New York Rangers center Michael Nylander to a four-year, $19.5 million contract, and two former New York Islanders: forward Viktor Kozlov and defenseman Tom Poti.

The Capitals also signed their top draft pick in 2006, center Nicklas Backstrom, who played in his native Sweden last season.

“I can’t wait to get on the ice and see everybody,” Clark said. “The expectations are raised. We’re not a rebuilding team anymore.”

A service of the Associated Press(AP)