Of the three Capitals veterans on the free agent market -- Mike Knuble, Alex Semin and Jeff Halpern -- would anyone have guessed that Halpern would be the first to sign with another team?
The 36-year-old center agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with the New York Rangers reportedly worth 700,000.
After signing a one-year, 825,000 contract with the Capitals last summer, Halpern played in 69 games for the Caps last season, recording four goals and 12 assists. He also led the team in faceoff winning percentage 58.4.
But down the stretch Halpern often failed to make it into Dale Hunter's lineup and played in just two of the Capitals' 14 playoff games.
Although Halpern is from Potomac, Md., his father is from New York and grew up a Rangers fan before moving to the D.C. area.
Halpern, who attended Princeton University, has played 12 seasons in the NHL for the Capitals twice, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles and Montreal.
He has 146 goals and 212 assists in 861 NHL games.