The Capitals and John Carlson have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract extension so the 28-year-old defenseman will test the free agent market, which began Sunday. Carlson cannot sign a contract until next Sunday at noon when free agency begins unless it’s with the Capitals but can verbally agree to one before then.
Capitals’ General Manager Brian MacLellan told reporters on Sunday following Round 1 of the NHL Draft that he hoped to sign Carlson to an extension before he can start talking to other teams but nothing is done as of now.
Carlson tallied 15 goals and 68 points in 82 games during the regular season, setting career highs in each category, and came in fifth place for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defenseman each year. He also came off of a five-goal, 20-point postseason performance in 24 games. Carlson led all NHL defenseman in scoring. His last contract paid him $3,966,667 annually over six seasons.
Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic suspects that agreeing on the bonus structure during lockout years for a new contract remains an issue and it isn’t just the average annual value that is holding Carlson up from signing an extension. The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2020-21 season. There have been lockouts in 1994-95, 2004-05, and 2012-13. The NHL can opt out of the CBA on September 1, 2019. The NHL Player’s Association can opt out of the CBA on September 19 that year. If either side opts out, the CBA would expire at the end of the 2019-20 season.
And I suspect this isn’t just about agreeing on the right AAV but also on the bonus structure for potential lockout years… https://t.co/r6OP9VqFqL
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 24, 2018
Rick Curran, Carlson’s agent, told TSN’s Bob McKenzie that he is taking calls from other teams that are interested and he is still in contract talks with the Capitals.
John Carlson’s extension with WSH is not done, not yet anyway and UFA shopping period has begun. So, now what? Carlson’s agent Rick Curran: “As of the moment we do not have a deal in place with Washington and as permitted, I am getting/taking calls from other interested teams.”
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 24, 2018
The Capitals have $21,215,705 in cap space with Carlson, defenseman Michal Kempny, center Jay Beagle, defenseman Jakub Jerabek, and forward Alex Chiasson set to become unrestricted free agents and forwards Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly set to become restricted free agents. They traded goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche for a 2018 Second Round pick on Friday evening in an effort to clear cap space to re-sign Carlson.
According to multiple reports, the Capitals have made a contract offer to Kempny but the two sides have yet to agree on a new contract. Kempny recorded two goals and three points in 22 games with the Capitals after the team traded a third-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks to get him on February 19. Kempny, 27, also tallied two goals and five points in 24 playoff games with the Capitals and he was a +1.
By Harrison Brown