- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2011

If Scott Hannan is going to be back with the Capitals next season, they won’t make a move to re-sign him until after unrestricted free agency opens at noon Friday.

That’s according to his agent, Don Meehan, who didn’t rule out a return to Washington for Hannan.

“As far as Scott’s situation with the Capitals is concerned, the Capitals have not made any offer to date, but have indicated that they may very well speak to us on Scott’s situation subsequent to July 1st,” Meehan wrote in an email to The Washington Times.

The Caps acquired Hannan in a trade with the Avalanche in October that sent Tomas Fleischmann to Colorado. Since, he played in 78 regular-season and all nine playoff games and finished with a total of one goal and 11 assists.

Hannan was considered a solid defender and a good fit with the Caps for much of his time in Washington, but he was at fault for the bad line change in Game 2 of the Lightning series that led to Vinny Lecavalier’s game-winner and didn’t have his best performances in the playoffs.

After the Caps’ season ended, Hannan explained that he wanted to return.

“It’s a great group of guys here. I’d love to be back. But we’ll see how things happen,” he said. “It’s a long way. We’ll have to sit down with my family. Maybe we’ll talk to Washington here in the next little while.”

With no offer from the Caps, Hannan will soon be on the open market.

The first departure of the Capitals’ offseason – officially, anyway – belongs to defenseman Tyler Sloan.

On Thursday, the Caps bought Sloan out of the final year of his contract, the team confirmed. Sloan, who was set to make $700,000 this season, will count $233,333 against the cap over the next two years.

It was a process started by putting Sloan on waivers earlier in the week. He cleared, then was put on unconditional waivers. When he cleared those at noon Thursday, the team bought him out.

Sloan, 30, had four goals and 13 assists in parts of three seasons with the Caps. He finished his Washington career with a minus-3 rating.

The move clears up a contract space and roster spot for the Caps.

Counting Tom Poti, whose future is uncertain because of a nagging groin injury, the Caps have six defensemen on the NHL roster. Karl Alzner is a restricted free agent and is likely to be back.

Sloan will be free to sign with any team as an unrestricted free agent Friday at noon.

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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