The Washington Capitals' first signing of the 2011 free agency period was one that they are very familiar with.
Former captain Jeff Halpern has returned to the Caps, signing a one-year contract reportedly worth $825,000.
Halpern spent six seasons with the Caps, scoring 87 goals over that span. A Potomac, Maryland, native, Halpern has spent time with the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens since leaving Washington. He had 11 goals and 15 assists in 72 games with Montreal last season. Halpern also ranked second on the Canadiens last season with a 56.9% faceoff percentage.
Halpern was named the team captain in 2005-06, which was Alex Ovechkin's rookie season. He had 11 goals and 33 assists in 70 games that season. He signed with the Stars as an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Halpern will bring yet another veteran presence to the Caps, who are unsure of the respective statuses of fellow veterans Jason Arnott, Marco Sturm and Scott Hannan.