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Alexander Semin signs one-year, US$6.7-million contract extension with Capitals

Washington Capitals' Alexander Semin, of Russia, reacts after scoring a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, in Washington. The Capitals have signed winger Alexander Semin to a one-year contract extension. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Luis M. Alvarez

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Washington Capitals' Alexander Semin, of Russia, reacts after scoring a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, in Washington. The Capitals have signed winger Alexander Semin to a one-year contract extension. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Luis M. Alvarez

ARLINGTON, Va. - Most players prefer the security of a long-term contract. Alexander Semin takes things one year at a time.

Semin signed a one-year, US$6.7-million contract extension with the Washington Capitals on Thursday, the second straight year he and team have settled on a 12-month deal for one of the game's most streaky, dynamic scorers.

"Alex was basically comfortable with another one-year deal, and that was fine with us," general manager George McPhee said. "We could do one-year deals for the next 10 years if he wishes. It gives us flexibility. It gives the player flexibility."

The 26-year-old Russian winger is making $6 million this season. He salary next season will match the per-year amount in teammate Nicklas Backstrom's 10-year, $67-million contract—at one-tenth the length.

Semin, who rarely speaks to reporters, scored a career-high 40 goals last season, but his production has waned recently in a team-wide scoring slump as the Capitals adjust to a more defensive style of play. He has 18 goals and 17 assists but hasn't scored since Nov. 28, and he hasn't played since Jan. 8 because of a groin injury.

Semin does have three hat tricks this season, all coming in 35-day span from Oct. 23 to Nov. 26.

McPhee said he hopes Semin returns from the injury next week, after the all-star game.

"Players that score like this are rare, they're really hard to find," McPhee said. "We thought this would be the year that he would get 50 goals. We may have to settle for 40."

Semin was a first-round pick in the 2002 draft. His 166 career goals rank 11th in Capitals history.

The Capitals also assigned forwards Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perreault and goaltender Braden Holtby to Hershey of the AHL. The move allows the three to take part in the AHL all-star events Sunday and Monday.

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