The Washington Capitals re-signed nine restricted free agents, including center Jeff Halpern, to one-year contracts yesterday.
Halpern and fellow forwards Graham Mink, Stephen Peat, Brian Sutherby and Brian Willsie accepted their qualifying offers, as did defensemen Steve Eminger, Shaone Morrisonn and Nolan Yonkman and goaltender Maxime Ouellet.
Halpern and Eminger will be the highest paid among the players who signed yesterday, earning $1,233,100 and $960,000, respectively, next season. The Capitals wanted to sign Potomac-native Halpern to a multiyear contract, but now cannot sign him to a long-term deal until after Jan. 1.
The deadline for accepting qualifying offers was 5 p.m. yesterday.
Three players, defensemen Josef Boumedienne and Bryan Muir and forward Chris Clark, did not re-sign by the deadline. They all remain bound to the Capitals.
Boumedienne is in contract talks with Washington, General Manager George McPhee said yesterday. Muir, acquired from Los Angeles last week in exchange for future considerations, was granted an extension.
Clark's intentions, however, remain a mystery. Clark was traded by Calgary to Washington on Aug. 4 in exchange for a conditional 2006 draft pick.
The Capitals' other restricted free agents -- defensemen Brendan Witt and Jakub Cutta and forwards Matt Pettinger and Jared Aulin -- were all re-signed to one-year contracts last week.
The Capitals now have 33 players under contract for next season; however, many of them will play in Hershey, Pa., Washington's AHL affiliate.
Regarding Alexander Semin, the talented winger who, according to his agent, has been unable to leave Russia because the player has not fulfilled his military obligation, McPhee said, Semin "is under contract with the Washington Capitals. We fully expect him to be in training camp."
-- Tarik El-Bashir