In a move few predicted, the Washington Capitals have signed veteran defensemen Roman Hamrlik to a two-year, $7 million contract, according to Montreal radio personality J-F Chaumount. The 36-year old Hamrlik has been with the Montreal Canadiens since 2007, and has been a mainstay in the NHL since 1992.
Hamrlik had five goals and 29 assists for Montreal last season, with a +/- of +6 in over 22 minutes per game of ice time. He has also played particularly well shutting down Alex Ovechkin in recent years, which may have played a role in the Capitals signing him. Hamrlik's signing is the latest in a busy day for Washington that has included the signings of Jeff Halpern and Joel Ward, as well as the trade of Semyon Varlamov.
The move to sign Hamrlik has interesting ramifications for the Capitals' defensive core. It probably signals the end of the road for free-agent Scott Hannan, but it also makes one wonder about the status of Karl Alzner, a restricted free agent.
For more on the signing, visit Japers' Rink.