Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee has made a habit of signing his youngest players to short-term deals.

Defenseman Karl Alzner, goalie Michal Neuvirth and center Mathieu Perreault all are working under two-year contracts, and it would have been easy for defenseman John Carlson to follow suit.

The Capitals' 22-year-old blueliner bucked that trend Friday, agreeing to a six-year, $23.8 million contract. Carlson will earn $3.8 million in 2012-13 and $4 million per season from 2013-14 through 2017-18.


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