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Caps in stickier situation with Johansson

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Caps in stickier situation with Johansson

Somewhere near his home of Landskrona, Sweden, Marcus Johansson heard Friday’s news of goaltender Braden Holtby signing a five-year, $30.5 million contract with the Capitals and must have wondered, “How much money is left for me?”

The answer, at least at the moment, is $4.2 million.

That’s how much room the Capitals currently have under the NHL salary cap of $71.4 million.

That number is also pretty close to the annual salary Johansson, a restricted free agent, could be rewarded in salary arbitration, which is scheduled for Wednesday in Toronto.

“As we get closer and both parties go through their arbitration process, I think you get a better feeling for the value of the player,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said on Friday when asked about Johansson. “Hopefully, we can come to an agreement before then, but again, we’re willing to go through the whole process and keep negotiating. I think (contract talks) are status quo from last time.”

It is unclear if the Capitals have offered Johansson anything more than his June 29 qualifying offer of $2.175 million. If not, it will be interesting to see what figures each side requests from an arbitrator in their briefs, which could be made publicMonday.

In Holtby’s case, the two sides were $2.9 million apart in their requests, and Derek Sepan ($7.25 million) and the Rangers ($5.2 million) are roughly $2 million apart.

For the sake of arguing, let’s say Johansson submits a request of $4.8 million and the Caps come in at $3.2 million. An arbitrator could choose a one-year award in the $4.2 million range. And that would eat up all of the Caps’ cap space.

The Caps could get under the cap by sending goaltender Justin Peters and/or Taylor Chorney or Zach Sill to AHL Hershey. …

But there is a significant difference between how the Caps value Holtby and how they value Johansson.

While the Caps were willing to slightly overpay Holtby, making him the seventh highest paid goaltender in the NHL, they will be less than willing to pay a third-line left wing – which is where Johansson is tentatively slotted behind Alex Oveckin and Andre Burakovsky – more than $4 million. (After all, they are already on the hook for $4.5 million in each of the next two season with Brooks Laich).

MacLellan said he’s hoping the threat of Wednesday’s arbitration hearing will help bring the two sides closer together.

How much closer remains to be seen.

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

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Capitals Faceoff podcast: Barry Trotz has his work cut out for him

Barry Trotz is now the head coach of the New York Islanders, a team that missed the playoffs and just lost their franchise player. So how does next season look on Long Island?

In the long summer months, the Capitals Faceoff Podcast will take a look at some of the Caps' competition next season. In this episode, it's the New York Islanders. Brian Compton of NHL.com joins Rob Carlin and Tarik El-Bashir to talk about what Trotz brings to Long Island and what's left to work with.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

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Monumental announces major improvements for in-game experience at Capitals and Wizards games

Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced an overhauled in-game entertainment experience for the 2018-19 Wizards and Capitals seasons on Wednesday. 

These changes include a new DJ stage, new permanent 3D on ice/on court projection system, along with new Wizards and Capitals entertainment squads, as Capital One Arena undergoes $40 million in renovations.

“We are committed to putting on the best show possible for every fan who comes to a game at Capital One Arena,” said MSE President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone.  “So, as we upgrade the facilities at the Arena this summer, we are also upgrading all of our in-game entertainment to keep the experience fresh and on the cutting edge.”

“We’re excited about these new changes to our game entertainment experience,” said Hunter Lochmann, MSE Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We work hard to create the best, most engaging entertainment experience in professional sports and we hope fans love this new, revamped energy.”

 

Some of the other improvement announced were:

  • Digital signage experience throughout the fully-renovated concourses that will pull fans into an exclusively all-Wizards or all-Capitals team experience each night highlighting player and team imagery on each concourse
  • Sponsored quadrants in the Arena where fans will experience concourse takeovers and can expect special offers and giveaways from sponsors
  • Olympia ice resurfacer bus: groups of fans will be able to take pre-game and intermission rides
  • Award-winning, chef-inspired dining experience featuring options from premiere chefs David Chang, Cat Cora and Alex McCoy
  • A transformed and modernized PwC Club offering some of the best sightlines in the Arena and new 100-level lounge, both featuring top-of-the-line comfort seating and exclusive food and beverage options so fans can gather in style during the games 
  • A new in-bowl broadcasting platform for NBC Sports Washington

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