Karl Alzner entered this offseason as a very good, very young NHL player ready for his first big payday. What he ended up with was a two-year $2.57 million contract that is leaving those around the NHL scratching their heads. Let's be clear, over a million dollars a year is nothing to sneeze at, but many out there thought he would be worth much more. Alzner acknowledged that he likely took a little bit of a paycut in accepting the Capitals contract offer.
"Looking at comparables, maybe I did sacrifice a bit there," Alzner explained. "Sometimes you have to do that, you have to make a nice friendly bridge right now and then in the long run things will work out for you and for both sides when it comes down to the next deal.”
So it looks like Alzner is trying to line himself up for a big next contract. That's great for the Capitals, and could be good for him if he is still playing well when this contract expires. But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, so Alzner might have taken an unnecessary risk here by waiting for his next contract.