Arbitration looms, but Johansson not worried about future with Caps

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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.”