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Green 'a little melancholy' about leaving Capitals


Green 'a little melancholy' about leaving Capitals

For all intents and purposes, Mike Green’s 10-year roller coaster ride with the Capitals is over.

With six days remaining before the July 1 start of unrestricted free agency, Craig Oster, Green’s advisor since the time he was 15, said Thursday that Green will be leaving the Capitals and marketing himself to other NHL teams beginning today.

Green, who is at the end of a three-year contract that carried an estimated $6.1 million cap hit, was never given a concrete offer by the Capitals, Oster said.

“They haven’t really come out and said there’s no way they’re signing Mike Green, but they haven’t attempted to do so, either,” Oster said. “I think the understanding is that it doesn’t work. Based on everything right now, we’re proceeding with the full expectation that Mike will be a free agent on July 1.”

With 10 goals and 35 assists, Green is coming off his best offensive season in five years despite averaging his lowest ice time [19:08] since his first full season in Washington in 2006-07. In 575 games with the Caps, Green recorded 113 goals and 247 assists for 360 points. He netted 52 power-play goals and 20 game-winners, earning the nickname “Game Over.”

Green, 29, holds the franchise record for power-play goals by a defenseman [18 in 2008-09] and established an NHL record the same season by becoming the first defenseman to score in eight consecutive games. He was named an NHL First-Team All-Star in 2009 and 2010.  

Oster said he spoke with Green about ending his long career with the Capitals, who made him the 29th player selected in the 2004 NHL draft.   

“Like anything else, when you have a significant change in your life that is very different than what you had before it creates all sorts of feelings and emotions,” Oster said. “In one sense Mike is a little melancholy about moving on and yet in another way he’s excited by a new challenge and a new chapter in his life.

“The biggest thing I got from Mike was that he was disappointed that they never had the success as a team that Mike would have liked to have and they expected to have in Washington. He really enjoyed his time in D.C. We were talking about it and it’s almost like graduating and moving on to your next stage of life and I think that’s what Mike is prepared for.”

Green is expected to use the next few days to reach out to teams that might be interested in signing him next Wednesday. The Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are teams believed to be interested.

Oster said Green, who could be seeking north of four years and $25 million, wants a bigger role with another NHL team than he had this season with the Capitals, who added Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen to a top four that included John Carlson and Karl Alzner.

“I think [the Capitals] realized it wasn’t going to fit no matter what it was, unless Mike was prepared to take something different than what he’s been used to doing,” Oster said. “I think Mike made it clear he played the role that was asked of him, but that certainly wasn’t his preferred role or what he was looking forward to doing. He wanted to play more minutes; he wanted to play in more situations; he wanted more responsibility, and I think that will be a real focus of discussions we have with other teams.”

[MORE CAPITALS: The 2015/16 Capitals schedule has been released] 

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson


GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”


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Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick


Capitals go to the WHL again, select defenseman Alex Alexeyev with first-round pick

The last time the Washington Capitals had a first-round draft pick, they selected a WHL defenseman. They did not go off script on Friday.

With the last pick of the first round, selecting for the first time as defending Stanley Cup champions, the Capitals selected Alexander Alexeyev, a left-shooting, two-way defenseman from St. Petersburg.

Alexeyev, 18, certainly boasts NHL size at 6' 4", 196 pounds. He currently plays for Red Deer in the WHL, a junior league that has become a major pipeline for the Capitals. In his second season with Red Deer, he tallied 37 points in 45 games.

The NHL Central Scouting's rankings list Alexeyev as the 22nd best North American skater of the draft. TSN projects him to be a top-four, two-way defenseman.

Analyst Craig Button described Alexeyev as a "Smart, effective defenceman who moves the puck, plays with a calm and doesn't make things complicated for himself."