The deal is worth $2 million, plus an additional $2 million in performance-based incentives. The Connecticut native, who has scored at least 30 goals six times in his career, is coming off a four-year deal that carried an average-annual value of $7 million.
"Max has proven to be a consistent goal scorer in his career and has the necessary skill set to play in every situation," said Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan. "We're confident he'll be a great contributor to our team at a cap number that suits our club."
Pacioretty, 34, is one of the more accomplished goal-scorers available in free agency and a terrific finisher. The Carolina Hurricanes traded for Pacioretty last summer, but he was limited to five games this season after two different right Achilles tendon surgeries. The second surgery in January reinforced the tendon, so the hope is that Pacioretty can be healthy next season.
His time on long-term injured reserve was a benefit for the Capitals. Since Pacioretty has 400 career games and spend 100 days on LTIR last season, he was eligible for a performance bonus-laden contract this season. Performance bonuses count against the salary cap; however, a team can exceed the salary cap due to performance bonuses by the maximum performance bonus cushion amount of 7.5% of the upper limit. It's only after the season that the impact is really felt.