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Capitals Notes: John Carlson Not Worried About Contract, Jeff Halpern Discusses Ongoing CBA Negotiations

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Carlson Not Worried About New Contract

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John Carlson on the status of his contract: "I can't imagine playing anywhere else."

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Several members of the Washington Capitals -- forwards Mike Ribeiro and Stanislav Galiev, defensemen Mike Green, John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov and goaltender Michal Neuvirth -- participated in an on-ice workout Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Here are some news and notes:

Carlson Mum On New Contract

Carlson, the only free agent that the Caps have yet to re-sign this summer, was quiet regarding the status of a new contract, but did say that he "can't imagine playing anywhere else" but Washington.

"I love Washington," he said. "I love being here. I stay here for a lot of the summer. I like my teammates, I like the rink, I like the fans."

There is no concrete deadline for the Caps to re-sign Carlson, but if the two sides do not reach an agreement before the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires Sept. 15, they will not be able to work out a contract until a new CBA is in place.

When asked about the looming CBA expiration and a possible lockout, the 22-year-old restricted free agent said that while he is keeping track of the ongoing negotiations, he is focusing his attention on getting ready for the upcoming season.

"Obviously, it's in the back of everyone's mind whether you're a player, coach, owner, GM, fan, media, everybody," Carlson said. "We put our trust into what we have and we feel strongly about it."

"I'm just thinking about [how] everyone's gonna get in here soon and we're all gonna be back together," he continued. "That stuff, we obviously have to help, but hopefully that gets taken care of and we'll have the fun part."

Jeff Halpern On Current CBA Negotiations"It's Probably A Little Different Than Seven Years Ago"

Former Cap Jeff Halpern, who signed with the New York Rangers earlier this summer, also participated in the workout (he resides in the area). Unlike Carlson, Halpern went through the last round of CBA negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players' Association (NHLPA), which ultimately led to the cancellation of the 2004-05 season.

Halpern, however, did express some optimism regarding the current negotiations when asked to compare them to those from seven years ago.

"It's probably a little different than seven years ago," Halpern, who was wearing a NHLPA shirt, said. "There wasn't even any talk at this point and there were a lot bigger issues on the table. Players were already starting to figure out plans for the season."

"Just the fact that [the NHL and NHLPA are] talking," he continued when asked to expand on the differences. "There are some big differences. Really, things we're discussing now are a lot different than seven years ago. There were major fundamental changes that happened in the last one. Right now, we're talking about percentages and defining revenues and I think those kinds of things...it should be easier to talk through those things than it was major, major shifts of the landscape of the CBA."


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