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Brett Connolly signs 2-year, $3 million contract with Capitals, per report

Connolly is returning to Washington on a $1.5 million cap hit.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Brett Connolly to a two-year, $3 million contract, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The deal, which includes a $1.5 million annual cap hit, runs through the 2018-19 season.

Connolly, 25, could’ve hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after the Capitals declined to tender him a qualifying offer by the deadline on Monday. That meant Washington relinquished its rights to the forward as a restricted free agent, even though the team always intended to re-sign him.

Now it’s a non-issue for both sides, as Connolly is back with the Capitals for two more seasons at a reasonable rate. He got a slight raise from the one-year, $850,000 contract he signed with Washington last year after the Bruins non-tendered him.

Connolly proved to be a good complementary player during his debut season with the Capitals. He recorded 15 goals and eight assists in 66 regular season games, even though he averaged less than 11 minutes per game. He was also often scratched during the playoffs.

The Lightning originally drafted Connolly with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded to the Bruins in 2015, then joined the Capitals as a free agent last year.