It’s fairly apparent that Restricted Free Agent (RFA) Dmitry Orlov is in a “second fiddle” position, waiting to see what’s left in the piggy bank after the Caps sign Marcus Johansson.
The Caps currently sit $8,038,207 under the salary cap. On Monday, Marcus Johansson filed the required pre-arbitration brief that included an initial request of $5.25 million per year. The Capitals countered by filing an offer of $3.85 million per year. Assuming the final value is somewhere in the middle, Johansson is likely to be awarded around $4.2-$4.5 million, leaving roughly $3.5 million Average Annual Value (AAV) for the signing of Orlov. Is that enough? Too much? NoVa Caps asked Orlov’s agent, Mark Gandler, on Monday about the current status of negotiations, but Gandler declined to officially comment on the situation.
Things could get a bit muddier after a final value has been set for Johansson. What if the Orlov camp is dissatisfied with the Caps offer? What if the financial residue remaining from the Johansson signing in no way meets Orlov’s self-assessed value?
Orlov is coming off of a contract that paid him $2 Million over the past two seasons. It is likely that the Orlov camp will accept a final offer in the neighborhood of $3.5 million AAV, should the Caps be able, and want to extend that size of an offer to Orlov. But if not, or if the Caps decide not to extend an offer in that range, things could get very muddy.
One and Done?
There is a good chance this is Orlov’s last season with the Capitals. The upcoming expansion draft will essentially allow the Capitals to protect three defensemen, possibly leaving Orlov unprotected. So, if the Caps feel they are faced with a “trade him or lose him” scenario, do the Caps pull off a sign and trade?
One thing seems fairly clear: we will probably not see much movement in the Orlov negotiations until a final number has been assessed to Marcus Johansson.
By Jon Sorensen