Alexander Semin has played his final game with the Capitals, plus speculation over which players they should pursue.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance reported agent Marc Gandler, who represent Washington Capitals winger Alexander Semin, said his client has no intention of re-signing with the club and is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer. Gandler cited the Capitals’ change of direction and Semin’s belief he doesn’t fit into that system as the reasons behind the decision, adding his client wants to remain in the NHL, hoping to get an expanded role, including time on the penalty kill. Custance believes Semin “is an interesting option for teams looking for scoring in a weak free-agent market”, noting he’s only two years removed from a 40-goal, 84-point season.
WASHINGTON POST: John Feinstein suggests if Capitals GM George McPhee wants to make a really important move this summer, perhaps he should put together a package offer (including his two first round picks in this year’s draft) for Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Rick Nash.
PHILLY.COM’s Sam Carchidi took to Twitter to express doubt Semin could replace Jaromir Jagr at right wing if Jagr decides not to return to the Flyers next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I realize a lot of folks believe Semin could have a tough time finding a new NHL team to sign with this summer. Never underestimate the ability for NHL general managers to overspend on talent in the free agent market, especially those with cap space and the willingness to spend. Though he might have to accept a little less than the $6.7 million he earned this season, perhaps on a one to three year deal, I believe Semin will find an NHL team desperate for offense willing to take a gamble on him.
As for Rick Nash to Washington, that’s not a bad suggestion. He’d easily slide into that first line right wing spot vacated by Semin and should be a good fit with Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. They have the cap space to comfortably absorb his $7.8 million per season salary, are a perennial playoff club, and have depth in draft picks and prospects to offer up to the Blue Jackets. The downside, however, is the players the Jackets would want as part of the return. They don’t have any good young roster forwards to offer up, and they’d likely want either John Carlson or Karl Alzner as part of the return. They could try to shop Semin’s rights to the Jackets, giving them permission to speak with his agent, but the Jackets management would need to know Semin is willing to sign with them. Even then, we don’t know if they would have any serious interest in Semin.