Defenseman Karl Alzner agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
Financial terms were not released but TSN reported it to be valued at $23 million, for an average annual value of $4.6 million.
"When it came down to it, playing for the Montreal Canadiens is amazing," Alzner said. "An Original Six team, and not just any Original Six team, but definitely the one that everyone thinks of first when they think of hockey, in my opinion. So there was that, and the meeting that we had was great. We were in Montreal, everyone we talked to was awesome, facility's awesome, city's awesome. So those things came to the forefront and it's a heck of a deal for us. I'm extremely excited on all fronts."
Alzner, who turns 29 on Sept. 24, had 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and a plus-23 rating in 82 games with the Washington Capitals last season. He has not missed a regular-season game in the past seven seasons.
Video: D Alzner signs 5-year deal with Montreal Canadiens
"There are some pillars there that really get you excited about the future, and the exciting thing is the future is already next season, an opportunity next season to be a serious threat," Alzner said. "That's something that excites me. We had good teams in Washington but we couldn't quite get over that hump. I had an opportunity this year to get a chance to get over that hump with a new club, so I took that. I think that the [Canadiens] organization is willing to do anything and everything to help us achieve the goal. Just thinking about the possibility of winning with the Montreal Canadiens, it just puts a smile on your face. It makes me laugh just imaging how crazy things would be, not just in Montreal but in Canada."
Selected by Washington with the fifth pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Alzner has 117 points (19 goals, 98 assists), and a plus-61 rating in nine NHL seasons (591 games), all with the Capitals. He has three goals and eight assists in 64 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"I want to win, that's the whole point, that's the reason why we all play hockey," Alzner said. "It was frustrating to keep getting stumped in the second round. That's something that I just couldn't really overlook. If there was an option in Washington, yeah, maybe we'd be talking different. No one likes to have to pack up and move. But at the same time, my drive to win is incredibly strong and when I had an opportunity to try and look into the future and see what the future is here, it was just super enticing. I just want that chance to win and I want the chance to bring it to a Canadian city, especially Montreal."