Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Free Agent Fun!

And so, it begins.
As of 12:01 PM on Friday, July 1st, NHL free agency period has begun, and it is time for those decisions to be made.  With Semyon Varlamov's apparent jump to the KHL, the Capitals currently have eight NHL free agents left to pursue.  Karl Alzner, Semyon Varlamov and Troy Brouwer are the restricted free agents while Scott Hannan, Matt Bradley, Jason Arnott, Boyd Gordon, and Marco Sturm are unrestricted. With under $10 million in salary cap to work with, the Capitals' options are limited, and that will certainly make keeping the role section of this team intact. Nevertheless, here are the current situations of each free agent:
Semyon Varlamov: Rumors about Varly over the last three days have spread like wildfire, but it was confirmed last night that he has NOT signed in the KHL and his hometown team will not trade his rights to SKA St. Petersburg, his desired destination.  At this point, there is literally no prediction as to what could happen with him tomorrow.
Troy Brouwer: The Capitals and Brouwer have supposedly been in contract discussions since he was acquired last Friday at the draft.  Based on what the Caps gave up to get him and how glowingly George McPhee has spoken of him, he seems a lock to be signed.
Karl Alzner: Washington's most important free agent, Caps reporter Steve Whyno reported yesterday that there is a "significant gap" for Washington and Alzner to bridge before he signs.  However, due to his essential role within the club and the price of signing another team's restricted free agent, it seems very likely that he will be back in DC.
Matt Bradley: The professor has not been offered a contract by the Capitals and does not expect his phone to ring with DC on the other end of the line.  He appears to be out as a Cap, sadly.
Marco Sturm: Like Bradley, he has not been offered a contract and does not expect one from the Capitals.  He, too, seems done in DC.
Scott Hannan: Hannan, like Bradley and Sturm, has not received an offer.  He will test the market, but I could definitely see him coming back for the right price. There is a chance.
Jason Arnott: Arnott has received an offer, but is set to test the open market before making a decision.  It seems unlikely that he is back at this point, given how much money he is likely to ask for.  But you never know.
Boyd Gordon: No details involving Gordo's contract status have been released, but one would assume that George McPhee is working on holding on to his top defensive center for at least one more year.  I think he is about a 60-40 chance to re-sign.

For more info on these players, click here.

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