Via The Washington Times' Stephen Whyno, the Washington Capitals and restricted free agent defenseman Karl Alzner still have a "gap to close" before the 22-year-old re-signs with the team.
According to Alzner's agent, J.P. Barry, he is optimistic that a deal will be worked out, but negotiations are ongoing:
"We were negotiating for a couple of months. We both have worked up our positions," Barry said. "We're not there yet - we have a gap to work on...We did a lot of work together, myself and Don Fishman talked for a while. They know where we stand on what Karl's projection is as a player, and they've done the same [projection.]"
Alzner just finished his entry-level contract, which paid him $875,000. He stands to earn a significant raise as he has become the Caps' most reliable shutdown defenseman. Last season, Alzner had two goals and 10 assists in 82 games for Washington as he and his defensive partner, John Carlson, became the Caps' No. 1 defensive pairing in their first full NHL seasons.