Saturday: CapFriendly has a breakdown of Wilson’s six-year, $31MM contract. Wilson will also have a modified NTC, which includes a 10-team no trade list for 2020-21 and 2021-22, followed by a seven-team no-trade list f0r 2022-23 and 2023-24.
2018-19: $1.1M Base + $5M SB
2019-20: $1.5M Base + $3M SB
2020-21: $2.1M Base + $2M SB
2021-22: $3.1M Base + $3M SB
2022-23: $2.1M Base + $2M SB
2023-24: $5.1M Base + $1M SB
Friday: The defending Stanley Cup champions have their muscle in place for the next several years. The Washington Capitals announced this evening that they have re-signed restricted free agent forward Tom Wilson to a six-year, $31MM contract extension. Wilson’s annual cap hit will be $5.17MM through 2023-24. CapFriendly reports that $15MM of the contract is in base salary and the other $16MM is in signing bonuses, while adding that the final three years of the contract carry a Modified No-Trade Clause. Wilson himself tweeted out his excitement to be remaining in D.C. for the foreseeable future.
At first glance, the first impression of this contract is that it might be an over-payment by the Capitals. This salary over this amount of time puts Wilson in a similar bracket with recent signings like Jonathan Marchessault, Josh Bailey, Alexander Wennberg, and Mikael Backlund – all players relied on as primary offensive contributors for their teams. Wilson is not that type of player for Washington, rather a two-way forward known more for his aggressive defensive play and checking ability. In fact, it is hard to think of any forward with Wilson’s career production to date ever landing a contract worth more than $5MM per year. However, the Capitals have always been clear about how highly they regard the young power forward. GM Brian MacLellan reiterated those feelings in the team’s release, stating:
“Tom is an invaluable member of our team and we are pleased that he will play a great part in our foreseeable future. Tom is a unique player in this League. At 24 years of age, he has an impressive amount of experience and we believe that he will only continue to grow and improve as a player. With his ability to play in virtually any game situation, teams need players like Tom in order to succeed in the NHL.”
Wilson certainly helped himself in negotiations with his postseason performance. His five goals and ten assists made him a crucial piece to Washington’s cap run. His playoff heroics were also cited by the team in the release and that clutch factor is yet another reason that the Capitals feel so strongly about Wilson moving forward. Add that to career-high’s across the board and it makes some sense why the team may see Wilson’s value on the rise.
With Wilson’s contract complete, the Capitals have signed all of their restricted free agents and CapFriendly currently projects that they will enter the season with the third-highest payroll and only $1.1MM in cap space. Interestingly, the money used to afford Wilson this season is just about $300K of what Washington would have been paying defenseman Brooks Orpik before he was traded to and subsequently bought out by the Colorado Avalanche. Orpik has since resigned with the Caps for $1MM and Wilson gets the money he wanted. Everything has worked out nicely for the Stanley Cup champs this off-season. With most of their roster returning and most of their core signed long-term, Wilson and the Capitals may have another Cup run in them over the course of this contract.