ARLINGTON, VA—The Washington Capitals closed a deal with forward T.J. Oshie on Friday, June 23. He signed an eight-year, $46 million contract extension.
Had Oshie not agreed to terms, he would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 in addition to acquiring eligibility to speak with other teams starting next Sunday. After a discussion with his agent, the six-foot, 189 pound right wing decided to stay with the Capitals, with whom he has spent the last two seasons.
After being selected by St. Louis (24th overall) in 2005, Oshie commenced his NHL career with the Blues in 2008. He was traded to Washington in 2015.
Oshie played in 68 games this season and collected 56 points (33 goals and 23 assists), just four shy of his career-peaking 60 points he attained while playing for the Blues. He earned a plus-28 rating and added four goals and eight assists in 13 playoffs games en route to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Capitals were knocked out (2-0) in Game 7 by two-time consecutive Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Washington Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian MacLellan said of Oshie:
“T.J. is an invaluable member of our team and we felt it was imperative for us to re-sign him in a competitive free agent market. T.J. is a highly competitive player with a tremendous skill set; he epitomizes the kind of player our team must have in order for us to continue to put ourselves in a position to compete in this League.”
The NHL shared that “talks got more serious after the NHL and NHL Players’ Association set the salary cap at $75 million on Sunday. MacLellan didn’t want to risk letting Oshie hit the open market.”
Oshie’s contract has a yearly salary cap charge of $5.75 million, the third-highest on the Capitals. Team captain Alex Ovechkin takes the leading cap charge with $9,538,462, and center Nicklas Backstrom trails behind him with $6.7 million per year.
Oshie spoke with reporters in a Capitals podcast following the closure.
“When the season ended, I honestly didn’t even really want to think about [re-signing],” Oshie disclosed. He shared that due to nervousness about the pending deal, he only slept for four hours the night before.
“We were going back and forth for, like, two hours, and then the deal was done. This one took a little but longer, and obviously [MacLellan] has a lot of work to do, a lot of numbers to figure out… there was the gap between last night to this morning. where I’m not hearing anything,” he added.
“I don’t really get too nervous or really think about contracts or any of that stuff, but these last 24 hours especially, I was nervous that it wasn’t going to get done… I wanted to stay in Washington so bad,” said Oshie.
His daughter, Lyla, is evidently thrilled about her father’s decision to remain a Capital. The father of two tweeted a video of her reaction.