Photo: Monumental Network
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman released his latest 30 Thoughts column on Tuesday. He had a blurb about defenseman Mike Green, who will be unrestricted free agent this summer.
12. Capitals defenceman Mike Green told the web site Russian Machine Never Breaks that his “heart is in Washington,” and he sees himself, “a part of that until the day I die or I retire.” This is one of those negotiations where you see a player who wants to stay paired with a team happy at his performance and acceptance of a smaller role.
That’s usually a good sign, but this is dependent on Braden Holtby’s next contract. Washington has to work around it and Holtby’s having a huge year. Will Green be content with what remains?
(Hey, I know that web site!)
Holtby indeed is a restricted free agent this summer coming off a two-year, $3.7-million contract. If the Caps are looking to sign Holtby first, they’ll have to try and lock him down before the first day of free agency on July 1. That may not be the plan for Braden and his camp as the tendency among top restricted free agents in recent years has been to take their time before taking a new deal. That may make retaining Green much more difficult.
Earlier in the year, RMNB’s Pat Holden determined that the Holtbeast’s production this season makes him worth $8.05 million to the team. Whether he’d get paid that much is another matter.
Recent contracts signed by the following under-30-year-old goalies suggest Holtby could perhaps ink a new deal worth between $5 and $7 million.
If Holtby signs a new contract around $6 million per year and the salary cap goes up about two million as recently projected, the Caps would be left with about $16 million to fill as many as nine roster openings. Re-signing Green at his same salary would then take up about another $6 million, making it a hard task to squeeze the rest of the roster, including pending RFAs Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson, under the cap, both of whom are due raises. What could be done to bring some financial relief is trading one of the team’s expensive, veteran forwards — Troy Brouwer or Brooks Laich.
Regardless, the Caps will have to make some big decisions this spring. And to keep Green, they will have to be aggressive about it.
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