The Washington Capitals have, according to General Fanager, about $8 million in cap space with two key components of their team left to get under contract this summer.
Marcus Johansson, the 25-year-old forward, had 17 goals and 46 points last season and is at the end of his one-year, $3.75 million deal awarded to him following an arbitration hearing last summer. He’s a restricted free agent one, as is 24-year-old defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who had a two-year, $4 million deal.
With those two left to sign, there is a balancing act to the budget, as outlined below.
If Johansson gets an average annual salary of $4.5 million, that would leave the Caps with $3.5 million in cap space.
Orlov, 24, is coming off a two-year, $4 million contract, on in which he made $1.75 million without playing a single NHL game and $2.25 million for playing in all 82 games last season and finishing tied for first among Caps defensemen in goals (8) and third in points (29). Since MacLellan said he should have enough left-over money to sign a player at the NHL minimum of $575,000, the Caps are likely budgeting no more than between $2.9 million to re-sign Orlov.
Johansson’s price, however, is one general manager Brian MacLellan has already expressed concern about when it comes to possible comparables.
The Capitals haven’t been completely quiet during the opening of the free agent period. They did sign forward Brett Connolly to one year at a price of $850,000.
It’s a move that adds depth up front. But it’s hardly a splash. The Capitals have their priorities elsewhere.
“I mean, we’re playing in a different market, trying to find a guy in a certain salary range that might have some upside and become a good player for us,” said MacLellan, as per the Washington Post.