Why did Alexander Semin agree to a one-year contract? Are the Philadelphia Flyers targeting Carolina’s Erik Cole?

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun interviewed agent Todd Diamond, who represents Washington’s Alexander Semin, over why his client agreed to a one-year contract with the Capitals rather than a long-term deal. Diamond said uncertainty over what might be contained in the next collective bargaining agreement was the reason. The current CBA will expire after next season, and LeBrun pointed out the possibility of another salary rollback in new deal akin to the one in the first season of the current deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun goes on to say he’s not saying that’s what will happen, merely indicating that as an example. While some players evidently aren’t concerned about what the next CBA might contain (as witnessed by Matt Moulson’s new three-year deal with the NY Islanders) it’s quite possible we could see more potential free agents agreeing to one or two year contracts in anticipation of potential salary restrictions in the next CBA. So much for the tin foil hat conspiracy theories suggesting Semin’s new contract was the first step in a “sign and trade” or indicative the Capitals could move him next season. Um, hello? If they weren’t going to move him this season with his carrying a $6 million contract lacking any form of movement or trade clause, why would they try it next season when his salary is $700K higher? Not saying it’s outside the realm of possibility, just pointing out the odds are even longer than they were this season.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers have placed defenseman Matt Walker on waivers, which would clear his $1.7 million salary from their cap space giving them over $3.6 million in available space, “enough to acquire Carolina’s Erik Cole” and wondered if a deal might be in the works for Cole.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not sure why the Hurricanes would want to trade Cole to the Flyers considering they’ve entered the All-Star break only one point out of a playoff berth, and Cole’s improved play in January (12 points in 14 games) were a key factor in the Hurricanes slowly but surely closing the gap on Atlanta and Montreal in the Eastern standings. Unless management has decided to give up on making the playoffs (and I doubt that very much) I don’t see why they’d move Cole unless they were getting a quality player in return.