Capitals, Ridley meet arbitrator


WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Washington Capitals general manager David Poile, center Mike Ridley and his agent, Rob Ingraham, met with arbitrator Alan Beattie here yesterday.

The Capitals reportedly are not offering more than $811,000 -- what they pay Michal Pivonka, their highest-paid forward. It is believed that Ridley is asking for something closer to the two-year, $2.65 million deal of teammate Kelly Miller.

"Our only disagreement with Mike is money," said Poile. "The arbitrator will rule within 48 hours, and that will be it."

Whatever Beattie decides, the Caps will sign the deal for one year with an option.

Even more uncertain is the situation with the Capitals' No. 1 draft choice, 18-year-old Brendan Witt.

The Capitals want him to sign. Coach Terry Murray wants him to play. Witt says it's a lifelong dream to play in the NHL.

But there apparently was no deal before the midnight deadline last night, which would mean Witt would go back to his junior team in Seattle.

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