Capitals News: Joel Ward Looking For New Contract Before July 1st

In a recent interview with reporters, Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan name-checked Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson and Nate Schmidt as the team's top in-house free-agent priorities headed into the offseason.

All four are slated to become restricted free agents in July.

“I think we can get reasonable contracts on all of them, and then we’ll make decisions based on where the cap ends up and what amount of money we have left over after that, and how we want to invest it,” MacLellan said, via the Washington Post.

One name left off that list is right winger Joel Ward. His four-year, $12 million deal expires next month, and his agent says that he really wants to make it work in D.C.

“Washington is his first choice over going to unrestricted free agency,” Peter Cooney said. “We would like to re-sign with Washington and come back. Our door is open for the Capitals, absolutely first and foremost.”

Ward may have priced the Caps out, however, with his nine points during the postseason -- tied for the team lead. It's possible the Caps could have room to work something out, but Ward remains low on their list until the aforementioned four restricted free agents are taken care of.

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