Defenseman, team still working on a new deal
Capitals defenseman Mike Green has declined the organization's qualifying offer of $5 million for the 2012-13 season, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Green, 26, had until 5 p.m. on Sunday to accept the offer, made last month as required by the NHL for all restricted free agents. The two sides still can negotiate a new deal, however, and Green still can sign an offer sheet with another NHL club that Washington would then have the right to match.
Caps general manager George McPhee said little Saturday about the exact nature of his discussions with Green's agent, Craig Oster, who also declined comment. McPhee noted that discussions would continue beyond the deadline no matter what, and they have been productive so far, according to multiple league sources. McPhee included the team's other restricted free agent, defenseman John Carlson, in his comments at the team's final day of development camp at Kettler Iceplex.
"I think when you're sort of negotiating in good faith and trying to get it done. I don't think anybody's trying to squeeze anybody on the other side," McPhee said Saturday. "And so in some ways it's an artificial deadline. I think we've had healthy discussions with both players, and there are deals to be made there. ... I think that's something we'll get done sooner than later, and they'll be deals that we can live with and they can live with."
The two sides can continue to progress toward a new agreement or -- if negotiations hit a snag -- they could table it until after the new collective bargaining agreement is finally hammered out between NHL owners and the NHL Players' Association. The current CBA expires Sept. 15.
Green appeared in just 32 games last season. An ankle injury cost him six games, and a groin injury that eventually led to a sports hernia surgery resulted in another 44 missed while on injured reserve. He returned Feb. 18 and had just one point before the end of the regular season.
Green had three goals and three assists in the first seven games of last season -- all Washington victories. But his ankle injury during an Oct. 22 game against Detroit was the start of a run of bad luck. He suffered the groin injury in his first game back Nov. 11 against New Jersey. Green tried one more comeback in early January. He made it through a Jan. 3 game against Calgary but left a Jan. 7 game at San Jose early.
Over the final 22 regular-season games, he managed just one assist, though he appeared in all 14 playoff games before the Caps were finally eliminated. In the three seasons between 2007 and 2010, Green had 68 goals and 137 assists (205 points), establishing himself as the game's premier offensive defenseman.