The Washington Post notes the first two days of NHL free agency have been largely uneventful ones for the Washington Capitals and it appears that trend won’t change.
Despite the lack of additional scoring depth on the wing and arguably the need for another stable top-four defenseman, General Manager George McPhee said Monday he doesn’t “expect to do anything” more in this shallow free agent market.
“It’s a very inflated market this summer. There aren’t very many players and there are a lot of teams pursuing the players,” McPhee said. “At some point you start inventing players, making them out to be better than they are and paying more than you should. It’s sometimes best to sit back and stay out of it.”
Granted, McPhee’s assertion that the Capitals won’t do anything else doesn’t preclude them from signing another player once the dust settles, as they did with goaltender Tomas Vokoun last season, or making a trade later down the road.
As things stand now, Washington has $19.8 million in room under the cap but that number will shrink to around $12.8 million, perhaps less, once restricted free agents Mike Green, John Carlson, Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perreault are resigned.
It’s plenty of room to tweak the lineup, but McPhee was adamant he would not add the burden of a regrettable contract to the fold.
McPhee declined to say whether the Capitals submitted formal offers to top UFAs Zach Parise and Ryan Suter only that they “explored everything.” He expanded only to say that the team set a limit for the type of contract it would offer. Once the term or salary amount exceeded that threshold, McPhee said Washington moved on.
“You can survive the loss of a player but it’s hard to survive bad contracts,” McPhee said. “Sometimes you can do something at this time of year that handcuffs you for years. We haven’t done that we’re not interested in doing that.”