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Still no deal for Johansson as arbitration ruling nears

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Still no deal for Johansson as arbitration ruling nears

One day after Braden Holtby and the Capitals went to arbitration, the two sides agreed to a five-year, $30.5 million deal. Now with the deadline for the arbitrator's decision looming, Marcus Johansson still remains without a deal.

According to arbitration rules, the arbitrator must issue his decision within 48 hours of the hearing. Johansson's hearing took place Wednesday morning meaning the arbitrator should hand down his decision sometime Friday morning.

Time is running out for Johansson and the Caps to reach a deal before then and with each passing second, it seems more likely the two sides will wait to see the arbitrator's decision.

Of the 25 cases scheduled for arbitration this summer, four, including Johansson's, are still ongoing and only Alex Chiasson of the Ottawa Senators was not re-signed before the arbitrator could assign an award. The remaining 20 players reached agreements with their respective teams before that point.

RELATED: Caps sign Swiss draft pick to entry-level deal

So why has no deal been reached between Johansson and the Caps? The answer may be in Nashville.

Two Nashville players filed for arbitration this summer: Colin Wilson and Craig Smith. Wilson is 25-years-old and recorded 20 goals and 22 assists last season. Smith is also 25 and scored 23 goals and 21 assists. Johansson is 24 and scored 20 goals and 27 assists.

Those are very similar numbers, but with one big difference--while Wilson and Smith are both projected to be on Nashville's second line next season, Johansson is projected to be on the Caps' third.

The acquisitions of T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams shores up the Caps' right side, Nicklas Backstrom (when healthy) and Evgeny Kuznetsov hold the middle and Alex Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky will likely play on the left. That will push Johansson down to the third line.

So while both Wilson and Smith received sizable contract extensions (four years, $15.75 million and five years, $21.25 million respectively) for similar production as that of Johansson, they are likely to have a much larger contribution for the Predators going forward based on the roster.

Whether the contracts of Wilson and Smith have entered the conversation between Johansson and the Caps is unknown, but it serves to illustrate the difficulty in Johansson's position. His production and his future role with the team do not come with the same price tag.

Rare as it may be, the only way to settle such a gap may be through an arbitrator and that seems to be where this is heading.

MORE CAPS: Star goalie gives insights into Ovi's scoring ability

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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