The Capitals had a long list of players with expiring contracts heading into the offseason. While Caps fans will know doubt know who's returning, you may not know about those other players who went off in search of a new home.
Here's an update on the notable Capitals free agents and their status as we head to late summer.
Jay Beagle: Re-signed with Caps for 3 years, $1.75 million
After he set career highs in goals (10) and assists (10) last season, it was expected that he would be back in Washington. Though he is a natural center, he has become something of a utility man for the Caps even finding himself playing on the top line at times. I expect he will challenge to become the third-line center in the upcoming season.
John Erskine: Not signed
It's not surprising to see him remain without a contract after neck issues kept him out of the entire 2014-15 season. You have to wonder if perhaps the bruising 35-year-old defenseman's career has come to an end.
Eric Fehr: Signed with Pittsburgh for 3 years, $6 million
Caps fans held out hope that perhaps there was still a chance Fehr could return after he remained un-signed late into July, but there was really no room for both him and Marcus Johansson. You hate to see him go to Pittsburgh, but for a player coming off a shoulder injury and who was struggling just to stay in the NHL in 2012, a three-year deal worth $6 million is a great contract.
Tim Gleason: Not signed
The Caps had a specific need for Gleason that saw him in the lineup for all 14 of the Caps playoff games, but around the league it seems he is not as highly regarded. That is evident by the fact that he signed with Carolina twice and was traded mid-season by the Hurricanes twice. That has to wear on a player, but what team is going to be willing to give a 32-year-old, third-pair defenseman the stability of a long-term deal?
Curtis Glencross: Not signed
This one is a surprise. He is not the first trade deadline player to struggle with his new team, he shouldn't be judged too harshly for his time with the Caps. Last season was his best in terms of points since 2011-12. Is there really no place for a player who can get you 10-20 goals and 20-25 assists per season? I think he will be a bargain-basement signing for someone at the start of training camp.
Mike Green: Signed with Detroit for 3 years, $18 million
When a player earns $6 million per year but is relegated to the third pair, the writing is on the wall. It was no surprise to see Green leave and no surprise to see him end up in Detroit, a team that has been in need of a right-handed, puck-moving defenseman for quite some time.
Braden Holtby: Re-signed with Caps for 5 years, $30.5 million
Holtby proved this season he is able to handle being a team's starter and that his strong playoff play was no fluke. The Caps got him for a reasonable amount as well. Both sides won in this deal.
Marcus Johnasson: Re-signed with Caps for 1 year, $3.75 million
This was one of those rare cases that went all the way to arbitration. Johansson walked away with a hefty raise, but one that still leaves the Caps with a healthy cushion under the salary cap.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: Re-signed with Caps for 2 years, $6 million
It took a while, but Kuznetsov is proving to be worth the wait. After a breakout performance in the playoffs, there was no doubt the team was going to get this done.
Nate Schmidt: Re-signed with Caps for 2 years, $1.625 million
With the expected loss of both Green and Gleason, Schmidt was penciled in for the third pair for the upcoming season. The team could not afford to let him walk away, but could easily afford the $1.625 million price tag.
Aaron Volpatti: Not signed
The decision to claim him off of waivers was puzzling back in 2013 and he was not utilized that often. After neck fusion surgery limited him to two games with the Caps and five games with the Hershey Bears last season, he's going to have trouble convincing a team to take a chance on him either in the NHL or AHL.
Joel Ward: Signed with San Jose for 3 years, $9.825 million
For Ward to re-sign with the Caps, he would have had to take a pay cut. Instead, he actually got a raise to play for San Jose. Good work if you can get it. It's too bad the Sharks won't get to see him when he's at his best: the playoffs.
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