Washington Capitals extend qualifying offers to Ilya Samsonov and Lucas Johansen

Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals have extended qualifying offers to both of their restricted free agents: goaltender Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Lucas Johansen. They extended these offers before Monday’s 5 p.m. eastern deadline. This moves allows the Caps to keep the rights of both players as they enter free agency on Wednesday.

Both players can either accept the one year offers which include raises of up to 10 percent or continue negotiating. Samsonov is eligible for arbitration while Johansen is not, via Cap Friendly.

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Samsonov finished the 2021 season with a 13-4-1 record, a 2.69 goals against average, a .902 save percentage and recorded two shutouts. His previous cap hit was $925,000 on a three year deal.

The Caps currently have $9,735,407 left in cap space. Alex Ovechkin, Michael Raffl, and Zdeno Chara are set to become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported that although the Caps liked the trade deadline acquisition of Raffl, he will likely enter the free agent market. But both sides haven’t completely shut the door.

Johansen, a 2016 first round draft pick by the Caps, recorded two assists and had a +2 rating with the Hershey Bears last season while making $700,000.

Some notable non tendered players across the league include Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase of the Boston Bruins as well as Evgeny Svechnikov, Marcus Hogberg, and Ryan Donato. These players as well as other non tendered players will become unrestricted free agents if they don’t re-sign with their teams by Wednesday.

The Caps made news with these qualifying offers but we are still waiting for that news about Ovechkin. Each hour that passes causes more nerves but maybe the team likes to keep us in suspense.

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The big question is what will a contract extension for Samsonov and Johansen look like when the dust completely settles. That and the obvious.