The road back to the Predators is clear for Alexander Radulov, if he wants to make the journey…Alexander Semin facing an uncertain future with the Capitals…Re-signing Olli Jokinen could be expensive for the Flames.
ESPN.COM/THE TENNESSEAN: reported the NHL and NHLPA has agreed Alexander Radulov won’t have to pass through waivers if he decides to return to the Nashville Predators this season. There’s no definitive word if Radulov could return, but if he does, it’ll fulfill his contractual obligation to the team. He has one year remaining (at $980K) on his entry level contract with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks seem of the opinion that this isn’t right, that Radulov should pass through waivers, but his is a unique situation. This isn’t being done to favor the Predators or Radulov. He still had a full season remaining on his entry-level deal but bolted for the KHL four years ago. He still owes the Predators that year, even if it’s a shortened one. They shouldn’t have to risk losing him via waivers if he decides to return, since they didn’t demote him or loan him overseas.
WASHINGTON POST: Tarik El-Bashir reports Alexander Semin and Capitals management have not had substantial discussions about a contract extension. Semin is on a one-year deal paying him $6.7 million, and is eligible for UFA status this summer. El-Bashir suggests this could mean Semin will hit the open market this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Semin’s numbers have been in decline over the past two seasons, which I attribute to a combination of injuries and the team’s change to a more defensive style of play. It’s been suggested he could end up in the KHL next season if he seeks a deal worth as much or more per season than he’s currently earning, but never underestimate the ability of NHL general managers to overpay for talent in the free agent market.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports it could prove expensive for the Flames to re-sign veteran center Olli Jokinen. “Recent deals signed by Tuomo Ruuttu (a US$4.75 million cap hit), Ales Hemsky ($5 million) and Mikhail Grabovski ($5.5 million) have upped the ante for Jokinen, who will be the league’s most coveted unrestricted free agent centre July 1 if the Flames don’t saddle him up by then”, reports Francis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jokinen could command over $5 million per given the lack of quality talent in this summer’s free agent market, but he also loves playing in Calgary, so it’s possible he could accept less than market value to remain there. We’ll obviously know for sure by July.