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Mike Green not accepting Capitals' qualifying offer

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** FILE ** Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt) ** FILE ** Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Mike Green will more than likely still be with the Washington Capitals next season. But a league source confirmed Sunday afternoon that the restricted free agent defenseman will not accept the team’s qualifying offer.

Green had until 5 p.m. to accept the offer, one year at $5 million.

General manager George McPhee struck an optimistic tone about negotiations with Green and fellow RFA defenseman John Carlson when asked Saturday.

“I don’t elaborate on these things. But we’re talking and I think there’s a deal to be made there,” he said. “So hopefully we’ll have an answer today or tomorrow.”

A deal can still be worked out anytime, either short-term or long term, but what this does is remove a deadline in the process. The next major one could be Sept. 15, when the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire.

Green, who missed 50 games last year with an ankle injury and then a groin injury that required sports hernia surgery, finished with just three goals and four assists. That’s a far cry from even 2009-10 when he put up a career high 76 points.

But the 26-year-old showed improved defensive prowess this past season when he returned to the lineup, and new coach Adam Oates has admired Green’s game for a while now.

“I used Mike’s footage the last couple years in New Jersey showing the D how to corral the puck, move a puck and have the poise back there,” Oates said.

It was not immediately clear as of 5 p.m. whether Carlson had accepted the qualifying offer, though it’s unlikely given that it was just $826,875.

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