Should the Red Wings pursue Alexander Semin? Are the Penguins planning to trade Jordan Staal? Could Milan Hejduk return with the Avalanche? Read on for the latest.
MLIVE.COM/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Ansar Khan and Helene St. James speculated over the possibility of the Red Wings pursuing Washington’s Alexander Semin, who might test this summer’s free agent market. St. James doubts he’d be a good match for the Red Wings, citing their needs and Semin’s potential salary demands.
DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan also mused over the possibility of the Red Wings signing Semin, as well as pursuing defenseman Barret Jackman if he doesn’t re-sign with the St. Louis Blues, though Jackman appears determined to remain with the Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Semin and Jackman could be “Plan B” if the Wings were unable to land Zach Parise or Ryan Suter this summer. Though Semin at first glance doesn’t seem a good fit, the Wings have had success adding players considered soft and one-dimensional and turning them into well-rounded performers. If Parise isn’t available and Semin’s their best available choice, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of his landing with the Wings, perhaps for less than the $6.7 million he earned this season on a two-year contract.
WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Capitals pending UFA defenseman Dennis Wideman will draw interest in the free agent market if he doesn’t get a new deal with Washington, while veteran center Jeff Halpern hopes he has options as a free agent this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the lack of depth in quality talent this summer, Wideman shouldn’t have much difficulty landing with a new team if the Capitals decide not to re-sign him. Halpern, on the other hand, is coming to the end of his long career, and faces the possibility his NHL days could be over.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Penguins GM Ray Shero remains hopeful of retaining Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby and Staal have one year remaining on their current contracts, and Shero maintains his intent is to sign them to extensions. The Penguins GM also said Staal had not approached him about playing elsewhere.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Staal trade rumors gained a life of their own in recent weeks. What started out as simple musings over his future within the Pittsburgh media blew up into “Penguins could trade Staal” speculation, leading to links with Carolina and Edmonton. Sure, it’s possible the Penguins could trade Staal, but if we take Shero at his word, which is the only thing we’ve got to go on, that’s not in the cards right now, and may never be.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reported there’s been some discussions between the Avalanche and Milan Hejduk’s agent regarding a new contract. Hejduk is a UFA this summer, and his declining performance gave rise to speculation he wouldn’t be re-signed. He’d prefer to remain with the Avs but apparently hasn’t ruled out weighing offers from rival teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hejduk returns it’ll have to be for less money and he’ll have to accept a lesser role with the club, as it was painfully clear he’s no longer a top-six forward.