Capitals RFA’s: Who will receive qualifying offers

With only a week until free agency, the deadline for the Caps to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents is approaching and while most of their key free agents are UFA’s (which isn’t necessarily a good thing), there’s a couple restricted free agents that would be in Washington’s best interest to keep around. For an explanation on how qualifying offers work look here but a basic explanation of it is that the Caps retain the rights to negotiate with these free agents by extending qualifying offers to them. It also means that other teams must match whatever qualifying offer the Caps give them if they wish to sign them and the Caps receive compensation (i.e. draft picks) if they don’t sign that offer sheet. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen, though. Let’s take a look at the Caps RFA’s:

Karl Alzner, D

Easily the most important RFA the Caps have and there is not a chance that he isn’t given at least a qualifying offer. Him and John Carlson were the team’s shutdown pair last year and were excellent in that role. Alzner is also in his early 20’s and is only going to get better so I do not see why the Caps will not re-sign him. I would have liked for him to get a new contract before July 1st because there’s the risk of another team sending him an offer sheet like the Sharks did with Niklas Hjalmarsson last year. I’d expect him to get re-signed for something similar to what Jeff Schultz is making.

Semyon Varlamov, G

This is a tricky one. I think it should be a no-brainier for the Caps to send him a qualifying offer but McPhee has stated that Varly is free to go to the KHL if he wants to and this tweet from Dimitri Chesnokov doesn’t tell me that a new deal will be reached soon:

Varlamov is unlikely to re-sign with the #Caps, I learned. The resolution will take place before July 1. @dchesnokov

Personally, I think it’s silly if the team lets Varlamov walk for anything less than $3 mil a year because I think he will be worth it. It doesn’t seem like it will be likely that he stays, though.

Troy Brouwer, LW

We didn’t trade our first round pick away just to have Brouwer leave in a week. He will be re-signed.

Trevor Bruess, C

Bottom-six player in Hershey making $875k a year. He had no goals in Hershey last season and missed a good amount of games too. Doesn’t appear to be someone essential or someone who will be re-signed.

Francois Bouchard, RW

The former second round pick still seems to be struggling in Hershey with only 24 points in 72 games last season, a huge drop-off from how he did the year before. Might be worth at least a qualifying offer because he appeared to be making progress before last season and he certainly has talent. I wouldn’t give him anything more than the $850k he’s making now, though.

Joe Finley, D

Shifting between defenseman in winger the last few seasons, it’s uncertain where Finley would fit on the Capitals team. Despite being a former first round pick, Finley hasn’t been able to keep a spot on Hershey and has drifted back and forth between the ECHL and the AHL which is not promising to hear at all. Neither is him being suspended for two games for a dirty hit earlier in the season. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is let go.

Josh Godfrey, D

Injuries have kept the former second round pick from living up to his full potential and it didn’t get any better last year as he even spent some time with the Chicago Wolves (Thrashers…err Jets AHL affiliate). Doesn’t appear that he will stick around for much longer.

Mathieu Perreault, C

Perreault is still struggling to find consistency at the NHL-level but he cruised in the AHL again (38 points in 34 games) so I could see him being re-signed to play in Hershey as someone you can call-up to the big club if you need to. Feel like he will get a qualifying offer in a few days and will be re-signed cheap.


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