Q: Is there an update on the negotiations with Mike Green?
Oster: I will just say it is an ongoing discussion. We’re trying to find a solution that works for everybody involved.
Q: There have been reports that the Caps are “low-balling” Green. Is this true?
Oster: I don’t think you can characterize it one way or another. We have the challenge of finding common ground on not only the money but the term given the changing landscape with emerging young players. There is no animosity or ill will.
Q: Do you have a sense of what teams might be calling tomorrow?
Oster: I don’t know what other teams are going to do. It is too hard to predict. There is a lot going on with both unrestricted free agents and restricted guys. Historically, offer sheets don’t happen on July 1. They usually don’t happen until a few days after that.
Q: Are you trying to sign a long-term deal or are you looking for a shorter option?
Oster: We haven’t had any stated preference with the term. We would be amenable to what works for the Capitals. We want Mike to be paid in line with what other talented young players around the league and on the Capitals are making.
So I would surmise from those comments that Oster doesn’t expect his client to sign an offer sheet tomorrow.
As for the last part, I went through a list of the young, talented defensemen and how they’ve been compensated the other day. The interesting part of that quote to me is “and on the Capitals …” That would certainly lead me to believe that Alexander Semin’s two-year, $9.2 million extension is playing a role in these negotiations. Put it this way: Who do you think is more valuable to the Caps, Green or Semin? And Semin inked that deal early this year when he had really only produced one great NHL season (I think most people would say he still has only produced one), so Green not doing it for more than one year can’t really be a factor.
Point is, all of these other young defensemen have signed for $4.5 million annually or less except for Dion Phaneuf, who is at $6.5 million. Is it wrong for Green’s camp to say he should be paid more than those other nine or 10 guys and more than Semin? I don’t think so, and I’ll be surprised if his deal ends up being for less than $4.7 million.