Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan didn't completely rule out re-signing any unrestricted free agent Thursday, including defenseman Mike Green and forward Eric Fehr.
"We're in contact with our UFAs and we're going to have to see what the contract demands are in the end for them and what's going to work for us," MacLellan said. "We're trying to balance all of our priorities here."
However, Green and Fehr's agent told CSNwashington.com that the pair will not return to the Capitals next season.
"The Capitals have been open and transparent and honest and I think both players were clear in terms of their willingness and intention to stay if it was going to make sense," Craig Oster, who represents both Green and Fehr, said.
"It's a function of where the Capitals are as an organization, changes that have been made there and the salary cap as to why they weren’t in a position to do much more than they were. At the end of the day, it's a decision by them as to how they make their best team and based on all the factors it wasn't going to work out for Mike or Eric or the organization and both sides will continue to move on."
MacLellan said the top priority for the Capitals remains signing restricted free agent goalie Braden Holtby and forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. None of those contracts have been completely hammered out, MacLellan said, and that will determine how much money is left over for UFAs.
Among other UFAs for the Capitals are forwards Jay Beagle, Joel Ward and Curtis Glencross and defenseman Tim Gleason.
"We keep talking to people, and now there's a free agent window where [UFAs] can talk to other teams, so I think they're going to gauge their role on our team and dollars that can be made in the free agent market and we're going to be doing the same thing," MacLellan said. "If we can come to an agreement, we will … we can just keep it going until we find out what works best for both parties."
MacLellan said he intends to sign a seventh defenseman, but the level of skill of that player will be determined by how much cap space is left over.