Marcus Johansson (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The Washington Capitals have re-signed Marcus Johansson to a one-year, $3.75 million deal. Johansson scored 20 goals and 46 points in 82 games in 2014-15. The contract, which was awarded by an arbitrator, will make Johansson a restricted free agent again at the end of this upcoming season.
It took an arbitrator to determine the terms, but Marcus Johansson has officially re-signed with the Washington Capitals to a one-year, $3.75 million contract.
Johansson, 24, produced the best offensive season of his young career in 2014-15, scoring 20 goals and 47 points in 82 games for the Capitals. Heading into the off-season as a restricted free agent, Johansson chose to take Washington to arbitration for a new contract. In arbitration, Johansson’s ask was a deal worth $4.75 million, while the Capitals countered with an offer of $3 million on a one-year term.
Friday evening, two days after the Wednesday hearing, an arbitrator awarded Johansson a salary of $3.75 million, which is a figure the Capitals could have walked away from. Rather, the club signed the Swedish winger to the one-year pact.
Over the past few seasons, Johansson has spent the majority of his ice time on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and has been the perfect linemate for the Capitals’ dynamic duo. However, with the Capitals acquiring Justin Williams through free agency and T.J. Oshie in a trade with the St. Louis Blues, there may no longer be room for Johansson alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom.
Even still, Johansson gives the Capitals a solid depth option who can slot in on any line and play effective power play minutes.
Some were critical of Johansson’s post-season performance in which he scored just one goal and four points in 14 games, a much lesser points-per-game percentage than the .57 he managed in the regular season and lower than his .54 career average. In three playoffs with Washington, Johansson has mustered five goals and 15 points in 44 games.
If Johansson could manage a big year in Washington this season, he could land himself a bigger contract next off-season, when he will again be a restricted free agent.
With Johansson under contract, the Capitals now have less than $500,000 remaining in salary cap space, according to General Fanager. (http://www.generalfanager.com/teams/washington-capitals) That’s not a concern for GM Brian MacLellan, however, as Johansson’s signing was likely the final piece this off-season and Washington can open up close to $1 million in salary by demoting either goaltender Justin Peters or Philipp Grubauer.
Johansson was a first-round pick of the Capitals in 2009, selected with the 24th overall pick. He made his NHL debut in the 2010-11 season after spending a final season with Sweden’s Farjestad. Over his career, Johansson has tallied 61 goals and 186 points in 345 games.