Tag: Braden Holtby


Arbitration looms, but Johansson not worried about future with Caps


Much like teammate and fellow RFA Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson is embroiled in contract negotiations with Washington as his arbitration hearing inches closer.

But to hear Johansson explain it, the lack of a new deal isn’t cause for concern.

“I’m not worried about that, I think I will continue to play there [in Washington],” he told Swedish news outlet Värmlands Folkblad. “My focus right now is on training hard and getting myself prepared, for I know I will be playing.”

(H/T to Hockey Ramblings for the translation.)

Johansson, 24, is slated for arbitration on July 29. That gives his camp eight more days to try and hash out a deal, and it’s not crazy to think both he and the Caps are waiting on the Holtby situation to unfold (the two sides are scheduled to go to arbitration on Thursday).

As Brough passed along earlier this morning, Washington’s No. 1 netminder is reportedly asking for $8 million per season while the Caps are countering at $5.1M; according to the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, in regular negotiations, the Caps were offering around $5.5 million while Holtby was asking for $6.5 million.

That’s a lot of money, and Washington has approximately $10 million in current cap space.

Regardless, Johansson is going to get a pay bump. He’s coming off career highs in goals (20) and points (47), though his playoff performance — just one goal in 14 games — did leave something to be desired. A raise from the $2 million he made annually on his last deal is inevitable, but how big?

“We will just have to wait for everything to be dealt with and finalized,” he explained. “It’s all part of the normal process.”

Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby is proposing an $8 million salary.

The Washington Capitals are suggesting $5.1 million.

That’s according to CBC Sports reporter Tim Wharnsby, as the the two sides are scheduled to go to arbitration on Thursday.

Now, obviously, Holtby doesn’t really expect to get $8 million, just the same as the Caps don’t expect to get the 25-year-old goalie for a bargain $5.1 million. That’s just how arbitration works. Each side makes the strongest case it can.

The NHL’s highest cap hit for a goalie belongs to Henrik Lundqvist, at $8.5 million. And hey, the Holtby camp could argue* that Holtby actually has the same career save percentage as Lundqvist (.921).

Of course, the Caps could point to Cory Schneider having a .925 career save percentage, and his cap hit is only $6 million.

According to the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, in regular negotiations, the Caps were offering around $5.5 million while Holtby was asking for $6.5 million.

*As noted in the comments, only comparables that cover RFA years can be used in arbitration. But the point stands: Holtby has very good career numbers. If not Lundqvist, he could argue he deserves what Sergei Bobrovsky, 26, will make in Columbus next season.

Capitals still might add a third-line center

Brian MacLellan

With Eric Fehr an unrestricted free agent and Nicklas Backstrom’s availability for the start of the season “up in the air” after undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery, the Washington Capitals’ situation at center is far from certain.

Washington has stated that Evgeny Kuznetsov will serve as the number two center and when Backstrom is healthy, he is the clear number one, but that still leaves the third line role undetermined.

“I think we’re going to let it play out,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told the Washington Post. “We could address it internally, the third-line center spot, and also depending on how the contract situation plays itself out, there’s a couple options in the free agency market that we see, and we’ll explore the trade market up until training camp. There might be something in that venue.”

Andre Burakovsky, 20, is among their internal options, but they also have veteran alternatives like 29-year-old Jay Beagle.

If they do decide to sign a center to help fill the void, then their options include Stephen Weiss, Matt Cullen, Derek Roy and, of course, Fehr.

Washington does have some cap considerations though. They have a little more than $10 million in space, but still have to re-sign restricted free agents Marcus Johansson and Braden Holtby, per General Fanager.