Maybe we're all wrong to be fearing the worst in the Mike Green situation.
The Fourth Period claims that the Caps and Don Meehan (founder of Newport Sports Management, the agency representing Green) are talking, but that "there is a major gap between the two parties," and that "Green is believed to be looking for around $3.5 million to $4 million per season."
First of all, while I have no doubt that Don Meehan is involved in the Green negotiations at some level, Craig Oster is Mike Green's agent and the one handling negotiations at last check.
Secondly, you've got to believe that if Green was willing to sign for "around $3.5 million to $4 million per season," it would have been done long ago and on a contract that was as long as the player would accept. One year? Fine - it gives the player a chance to prove that he can continue to develop into an elite defenseman. Thirteen years? Fine - the way the salary cap is rising, that would be a bargain as early as, well, next year.
Finally, there's no way there's "a major gap between the two parties" if that's all Green is looking for. Surely the Caps didn't open negotiations with their best offer, but it's a stretch to think that they went to Green and said, "Here's our offer. Sure, it's less than what we gave Brian Pothier two summers ago when our budget was much tighter, but that's our starting point."
Of course, the National Post today thinks the dollars are going to be in that same neighborhood and notes that Green could be poached, but that the "price to steal Green away from Washington will not come cheap. If a team offers him US $4-million per year, the Capitals would receive a first-round, second-round and third-round draft pick."
No they wouldn't. They'd receive nothing because they'd match that as soon as they finished writing the "Thank You" card to the team that signed him to such a deal.
If Mike Green was willing to sign a deal in the $3.5m - $4m range before July 1, it probably would have been done already. Is it possible that he ends up signing for that? Sure. But it won't happen until he sees what the market has to offer, and since he's been allowed to negotiate with other teams since last Thursday, you can bet that he has an idea of what is - and isn't - out there.
Update: TFP had a typo in their piece. They meant to say $4.5m - $5m.