26-year-old Mike Green is the most prominent of the Capitals' four restricted free agents this summer, just ahead of fellow defenseman John Carlson.
Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington got a hold of Green recently, and wrote up the very interesting interview that resulted.
"We've been improving each year, especially this year, and I feel like we're close," he said.
"Maybe if a few more bounces go our way and we work a little harder and focus a little harder, we're right there. We're going to win it. It's just unfortunate that it wasn't this year."
According to Capgeek, Green made $5 million in 2011-12. According to the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires September 15, Washington must make a qualifying offer equal to that amount. If the two sides can't come to an agreement, Washington would likely receive three draft picks from the team that signs Green away.
It's easy to forget, since Green's only played 81 games combined in the previous two seasons, but there was a time when the Albertan was regarded as one of the best young offensive defensemen in the NHL, albeit under a different system. Given the steep price it would take to sign Green away, as well as the large salary he would command and his desire to stay in Washington, signing him to a new deal might be an even easier task than expected.