Aside from allowing Mike Ribeiro to walk, the Washington Capitals basically maintained the status quo this offseason, but they still need to sign restricted free agent Marcus Johansson.
With an impressive 183 regular season games under his belt, the Swede has an unusually large resume for a player who’s only 22. Still, his growing game and a first-line role alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom last season might make it tough to gauge his value.
The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg believes he should garner $2.5-$3 million per year, for one:
Taken as an 82-game pace, Johansson likely outperforms both Duchene and Wilson in points while averaging the same time on ice per game. Of the three pending RFAs, only the Leaf’s Nazem Kadri outscored Johansson this past season. Plus, the Rangers signed Carl Hagelin (sixth-round pick of the 2007 draft) to a two-year, $4.5 million contract, pushing Johansson’s fair market value into the $2.5 to $3 million range for the 2013-14 season.
The Caps have about $5.67 million in cap space according to Cap Geek, so that would fit under the ceiling (if not the team’s internal budget).
Of course, with a player this young, term is also a factor. Either way, the team said it would match an offer sheet if it came his way, so it seems like they’re poised to get something done.