The Washington Capitals are struggling to reach common ground on a long-term contract extension with restricted free agent forward Marcus Johansson, according to multiple reports.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) July 15, 2016
Johansson has decided to go the arbitration route for the second consecutive year. The Swedish forward ended up with a one-year, $3.75 million contract last offseason.
The 2009 first-round draft pick tallied 46 points with a plus-12 rating in 74 games in 2015-16, a very similar output compared to his 2014-15 season, in which he logged 47 points and a plus-six rating in 82 games.
“(Caps general manager Brian MacLellan) and I have tried quite a few times to see if we can talk about something longer term,” Marcus Johansson’s agent, J.P. Barry, told Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post. “We really haven’t been successful on any attempts of sort of a longer-term negotiation. It could just be the cap and different views of what’s going on. So then obviously, we have to turn around and deal with our arbitration case.”
Washington has more than enough cap room to sign Johansson for another season, but it is apparent that both sides have seen enough of arbitration and would prefer a long-term agreement. That being said, all signs point to them having to go through arbitration in order to get a one-year deal done.
Johansson has quickly become a staple in the middle of Washington’s lineup. He’s a very talented puck mover with high offensive instincts, making him a good point producer both at even strength and on the man advantage.
The 25-year-old will have his inevitable arbitration hearing on July 20.