WASHINGTON (AP) -The Capitals signed center Michael Nylander to a four-year, $19.5 million contract Monday, Washington's third free agent signing in the two days.
Nylander joins forward Viktor Kozlov and defenseman Tom Poti in the team's haul during the first 48 hours of the NHL's open market. After subsisting as a last-place team on a low payroll since the lockout ended in 2005, the Capitals have vowed this summer to spend more as they attempt to build a playoff team around young star Alex Ovechkin.
The 34-year-old Nylander had career highs in goals (26) and assists (57) with the New York Rangers last season. A native of Stockholm, Sweden, he has played for seven teams in his 15-year NHL career, including 74 games with the Capitals from 2002-04. He has 189 goals and 420 assists in 808 career games.
Nylander has also represented Sweden twice at the Winter Olympics and nine times at the world championships.
Kozlov and Poti are former New York Islanders. Kozlov, who agreed to a two-year deal, scored a career-high 25 goals and added 26 assists for the Islanders last season. A 2000 All-Star, he has 169 goals and 273 assists over 13 years with four NHL teams.
Poti, who got a four-year contract, was a 2003 All-Star and a member of the 1998-99 All-Rookie team. He's played eight NHL seasons for three teams, getting 58 goals and 194 assists, including 44 points for the Islanders last season. He also played for the United States at the 2002 Olympics.