They were very simple words, but they carried very heavy weight. If any 29 other organizations offer Mike Green a contract, the Capitals will match it. "Probably within 10 minutes," added GM George McPhee. Answering questions on the the draft yesterday, GMGM made it clear that Green wouldn't be going anywhere.
This after Green's agent made some comments on how the Caps have been "low-balling" Green in negotiations. They may stretch things out until July 1st to test the market. So what kind of money are they after that could warrant such a greasy statement? Yea I don't know either, but Green sure did make a case for a lot of cash this season. But are we talking Dion Phenuef numbers, can Green really be worth $7.5 million a season?
Well, I guess he could. He did lead all defensemen in goals on his contract season. He played every game and had some pretty clutch goals. But he also lost the puck a lot, was out of defensive position more than once (behind the net on Knuble's game winner in game 4) and he still has to answer questions about his physicality on the blue line. He's no Scott Stevens, but he has been guilty of taking the puck before the body (a big no-no in full contact hockey).
While his agent, who according to Japer ain't the saint to save all hockey-dom, is ranting about how the Caps management might be offering far too little, I doubt the Caps came to the table seeking a $1.5 or even a $2 million hand out. Don Meehan (Green's agent) is looking to cash in on a career season. But it may be a failed tactic since GMGM sort of challenged Meehan back with a "no questions asked" match, whatever the damage might be.
If I were GMGM (which I am not and that is a very good thing) I would be looking at the $3.5 to $4 million dollar range for long term, with the contract ramping up toward the end to maybe $5.5 to $6 million. The contract would pay Green the same as any other elite player and keep the Washingtonians from paying through the nose for section 400 seats.
This is a "take the dispute public" to try to win a battle behind closed doors, and frankly I am starting to realize why GMGM is often mum about negotiations and contracts. If Green's agent does take him to the July 1st deadline to test the market, we could see some fall out with other players McPhee would like to keep in the fold. If the Caps match something of Kevin Lowe proportions, that could mean getting back RFA's Shaone Morrisonn and Steve Eminger could be a challenge. Even some quality forwards like Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich could find themselves in different sweaters come October.