As reported by Tarik to the right, the Caps are vying to keep their support players by extending qualifying offers. If players aren’t extended these offers, they become unrestricted and can sign anywhere.
Key members of the squad were handed offers including top face-off man Boyd Gordon, big-bodied winger Eric Fehr, and Mike Green’s stay-at-home complement, Shaone Morrison. These players are all included in the pre-free agency line combinations I posted earlier.
The Capitals are $12.52 million under the salary cap for next season. By keeping these three players, around $4.5 million is used leaving about $8 million to sign a top puck-clearing d-man and a second-line center. Assuming no one opts for arbitration Morrison will likely make $2.5 million next season, while Gordon and Fehr will get $1 million each.
Chris Bourque was also offered a new contract which I’m sure he hoped was one-way. That would keep him in DC.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, Michael Nylander’s contract would be a great weight off the Caps’ shoulders. He made approximately $166,667 per point he scored last season, whereas Alex Ovechkin made less than half that total.
He takes home $5.5 million next year, which not one GM in the NHL would pay given his performance over the past two seasons. He makes only $3 million the with a $4.875 million cap hit in 2010-11. That is no doubt when the trade most people wonder about will come. Unless McPhee toe-drags another GM into a swap for a quality player, the Swede will be in DC next term.
If Nyl’s pact was taken off the books, the Caps can afford virtually any defenceman in the league with $16 million dollars of cap space this off-season.