The Coyotes face some tough off-season decisions, updates on Semin and Vokoun, and Avalanche open talks with a couple of their pending UFAs.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reports the Phoenix Coyotes unsettled ownership situation could have an effect upon the club’s efforts to re-sign key free agents, which include pending UFAs Shane Doan, Ray Whitney, Daymond Langkow, Taylor Pyatt, Adrian Aucoin and Michal Rozsival. GM Don Maloney said re-signing Doan, the club’s captain, is his top priority.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the ownership situation isn’t resolved before July 1st, that could force some or all those pending UFAs to consider signing elsewhere, rather than risk staying with a club which could relocate to a city they don’t wish to go to. For more on this situation, check out my recent column on the Coyotes on THN.com.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM/WASHINGTON TIMES: Chuck Gormley reports Capitals forward Alexander Semin hinted in a recent interview he intends to wait for July 1st to determine if he’ll return with the Capitals or sign elsewhere. Semin, a pending UFA, also wouldn’t specify if he’d play in the NHL or KHL next season. Stephen Whyno reported Capitals pending UFA goalie Tomas Vokoun has ruled out playing in the KHL next season, saying he’s open to all NHL possibilities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Semin will test his value on the UFA market and give the Capitals the opportunity to match or beat the best offer, but of course we don’t know if the Capitals management are willing to do that. Don’t blame Vokoun for wishing to stick in the NHL. Given the lack of quality talent in this year’s UFA market for top goalies, he could land himself a decent contract with another NHL team this summer.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports the Colorado Avalanche have opened contract talks with a couple of their pending UFA players, though it’s unknown which ones they’re talking to. “Those potential UFAs are: David Jones, Jay McClement, Cody McLeod, Shane O’Brien and Matt Hunwick”, writes Dater. The club also hasn’t opened contract talks yet with RFA Ryan O’Reilly, but Dater claims he’s not going anywhere.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dater believes the Avs are interested in re-signing McClement and O’Brien, but isn’t certain if Jones would be back. He’s right, of course, about O’Reilly.