HOCKEY

Capitals Extend Offers to Five

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Washington Capitals have extended qualifying offers to five players, thus keeping their rights, and also have severed ties with two prospects.

Defensemen Mike Green and Shaone Morrisonn and forwards Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich and Boyd Gordon received offers before yesterday's deadline. The Capitals remain in negotiations with each of the five, who are set to become restricted free agents Tuesday.

Meantime, the Capitals have cut defenseman Jamie Hunt and forward Stephen Werner, both of whom will become unrestricted free agents. Werner, a Chevy Chase native picked in the third round of the 2003 draft, has not appeared in an NHL game.

Tendering a qualifying offer gives teams the first right of refusal, or draft pick compensation, should one of their restricted free agents sign an offer sheet with another club. Players have until July 15 to accept or decline the one-year offer. Morrisonn, Laich and Gordon must notify the Capitals by July 5 if they intend to take the Capitals to salary arbitration.

Today at 5 p.m., teams can begin negotiating with other organizations' restricted free agents. Green, 22, could be the target of an offer sheet after leading all defensemen with 18 goals last season. Laich, 25, could attract one, too, after scoring a career-best 21 goals.

-- Tarik El-Bashir


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