December 10, 2019

Capitals’ Marcus Johansson awarded $3.75 million in arbitration, re-signs with team

A Toronto arbitrator has awarded Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson $3.75 million as a result of Wednesday’s hearing, and the team announced late Friday that he has re-signed with the club for the 2015-16 season.

Because the size of the award is over $3.5 million and the arbitration was player-elected, the Capitals could have rejected the one-year deal, and in the process immediately sent Johansson to unrestricted free agency. But with roughly $450,000 left in cap space (nearly a million once a goalie is off the roster) after the ruling, the team decided to stick with him, at least for the time being.

The deal returns the 24-year-old to restricted free agency next summer. As players can only go to arbitration once in a career, he probably will either stay a Capital in the 2016-17 season and beyond, or go to unrestricted free agency if the team does not extend a qualifying offer for that season (in this case, equivalent to the arbitration award).

The team could certainly trade him elsewhere for a player and/or draft picks, so as to further free up cap space and give themselves a bit more leeway with their bottom-six forwards. But with the award coming in lower than the $4 million that many had predicted, that may not be necessary from the team’s financial standpoint.

About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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