Report: Johansson requesting $4.75 million in arbitration; Caps countering at $3 million

9 Comments

Marcus Johansson wants $4.75 million. The Washington Capitals are requesting a little less, $3 million.

That’s according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, as Johansson, a restricted free agent, is preparing to have his arbitration hearing on Wednesday.

So far, the two sides have not been able to agree on a new deal. However, these negotiations often go right down to the wire, as was the case with goalie Braden Holtby.

Johansson, a 24-year-old forward, had 20 goals and 47 points, both career highs, last season.

Capitals, Johansson talks ‘status quo’ as hearing looms

The Capitals were able to come to terms with goaltender Braden Holtby before an arbitrator had to rule on his value, but will Washington be able to pull that off again with its final restricted free agent, Marcus Johansson?

“I think they’re status quo from last time,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said of the Johansson contract negotiations, per NHL.com.

Johansson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. He’ll presumably be seeking a decent raise from his old two-year, $4 million contract after recording 20 goals and 47 points last season.

MacLellan is willing to go through the arbitration process if necessary, but of course his hope is to avoid that.

The good news is that Washington has some cap flexibility after inking Holtby to a five-year, $30.5 million contract. If Holtby had been awarded $8 million for the 2015-16 campaign as he was asking an arbitrator for, then signing Johansson while staying under the ceiling might have been a balancing act. As it is, Washington has about $5 million in space.

Arbitration looms, but Johansson not worried about future with Caps

3 Comments

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.”

Capitals still might add a third-line center

11 Comments

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.

NHL releases arbitration dates

4 Comments

Per the players’ union, a quick look at the players (and teams) that have elected arbitration, and what dates they’re scheduled for. Italicized names with asterisks means deals have already been reached, nullifying the need for a hearing.

PLAYER ELECTED FILINGS

Arizona Coyotes
Mikkel Boedker * (signed one-year, $3.75M deal)
Phil Samuelsson – July 21, 2015
Brendan Shinnimin- July 20, 2015

Buffalo Sabres
Phil Varone* (signed one-year, $600,000 deal)

Calgary Flames
Lance Bouma – July 22, 2015
Paul Byron – July 30, 2015
Josh Jooris – July 28, 2015

Colorado Avalanche
Andrew Agozzino – July 20, 2015
Mathew Clark – July 22, 2015

Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist * (signed four-year, $19M deal)

Minnesota Wild
Erik Haula – July 31, 2015

Nashville Predators
Craig Smith – July 20, 2015
Colin Wilson – July 28, 2015

New Jersey Devils
Eric Gélinas – July 21, 2015
Adam Larsson – July 29, 2015

New York Rangers
Derek Stepan – July 27, 2015

Ottawa Senators
Alex Chiasson – July 23, 2015
Mike Hoffman – July 30, 2015

Philadelphia Flyers
Michael Del Zotto – July 21, 2015

St. Louis Blues
Magnus Paajarvi *  (signed one-year, $700,000 deal)

Toronto Maple Leafs
Taylor Beck – July 24, 2015

Washington Capitals
Braden Holtby – July 23, 2015
Marcus Johansson – July 29, 2015

CLUB ELECTED FILINGS

Edmonton Oilers
Justin Schultz – July 24, 2015

Toronto Maple Leafs
Jonathan Bernier – July 31, 2015