The Capitals have extended qualifying offers to seven players, including forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Andre Burakovsky, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and backup goalie Philipp Grubauer, the team announced Monday.
By issuing the one-year tenders, the Caps secure the right of first refusal or draft pick compensation should a player sign an offer sheet with another team.
Bottom six-winger Brett Connolly did not receive a qualifying offer. The sides are negotiating, CSN is told, and the team still expects to re-sign him. If no deal is in place by July 1, however, the 25-year-old becomes a free agent.
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Connolly scored a career-high 15 goals in 66 games last season, his first in Washington, but was a healthy scratch in the second round of the playoffs.
MacLellan said last month that the Caps and Connolly’s agent have been close to an agreement “a couple of times” and that he views Connolly as “a young guy who still has some upside.”
On Saturday, MacLellan indicated that negotiations with the team’s RFAs are progressing.
“Hopefully we’ll get a few of them done in the next few weeks,” MacLellan said, speaking at the draft.
He added: “We’re working at ‘em. As we get closer to the deadlines, a little more urgency might come in and hopefully we’ll hopefully get them done.”
The deadline for player-elected salary arbitration is July 5. The deadline to accept qualifying offers in July 15.
MacLellan said in May that he’d be open to signing cornerstone youngsters Kuznetsov and Orlov to long-term extensions. Meanwhile, Burakovsky, Grubauer and Connolly are candidates to receive bridge deals as they continue to prove themselves.
Also on Monday, Washington extended qualifying offers to forward prospects Liam O’Brien, Chandler Stephenson and Travis Boyd. All three were recalled from Hershey last season, though Boyd did not appear in a game.
Minor league defensemen Darren Dietz and Cody Corbett did not receive qualifying offers and, thus, become free agents on Saturday.
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