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Capitals, Johansson struggling to reach long-term deal

Marc DesRosiers / USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Johansson and the Washington Capitals are heading down a familiar path.

Last offseason, the 25-year-old forward filed for arbitration, ultimately coming away with a one-year, $3.75-million contract. This year, Johansson filed again, in hopes of securing a long-term deal, but the sides are struggling to find common ground.

"(General manager Brian MacLellan) and I have tried quite a few times to see if we can talk about something longer term," Johansson's agent, J.P. Barry, told Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post. "We really haven't been successful on any attempts of sort of a longer-term negotiation. It could just be the cap and different views of what's going on. So then obviously, we have to turn around and deal with our arbitration case."

Johansson's hearing is scheduled for July 20, and the Capitals have just over $8 million in cap space with defenseman Dmitry Orlov the only other unsigned player on the roster, according to General Fanager.

Last season, Johansson suited up in 74 games, notching 46 points, one shy of his career-high set the season prior.

Although his production is steady, a second consecutive arbitration hearing is around the corner.

"We definitely have a gap on how we see free agency," Barry said. "We don't really agree on sort of the valuations or the comparables out there for free agency. I don't know how far apart we are on the arbitration. We'll probably start grinding on that now, because with the arbitration process both sides are preparing a case. I think the next step will be to just talk about the one-year deal."

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