Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com recently reported Alexander Semin dropped more hints about not returning to the Washington Capitals during an interview last week in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
Semin said he couldn’t elaborate about his plans as he’s waiting for July 1, when the unrestricted free agency period begins. He also couldn’t say if he’ll play in the NHL or Russia next season.
Judging by those comments, Semin seems headed to this summer’s UFA market, but that doesn’t mean he won’t return to the Capitals. He could field offers from rival clubs, then give the Capitals an opportunity to match or top the best offer.
One pending UFA Capital who’s left no doubt about his future plans is goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
He told Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times he has no plans to re-sign with the Capitals. Vokoun’s agent, meanwhile, denied a report he would sign with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental League, adding Vokoun intends to play in the NHL next season.
Given the lack of quality depth in the UFA market, Vokoun shouldn’t have much difficulty signing with another NHL team. Whyno listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning as three options. The Columbus Blue Jackets could also be included on that list.
ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers recently suggested Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland as a trade candidate if Marcus Kruger is capable of filling the third-line center role.
Rogers acknowledged Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s reluctance to deal any of his core players. Bolland is considered part of that group, but though an excellent third-line center, he’s proven incapable of playing above that role.
By suggesting Kruger as a possible replacement, Rogers feels Bolland could be shopped to land a return, which could help the Blackhawks. He believes Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal to be an excellent fit, though he admits it would take more than Bolland to bring Staal to Chicago.
Rogers’ suggestion is intriguing, as Staal would fit perfectly on the Blackhawks second line, allowing Patrick Kane to return to right wing on their first line, while Bolland would provide the Penguins with a proven third-liner.
Still, it’s only a suggestion by a pundit and doesn’t indicate the Blackhawks are planning to move Bolland, let alone ship him to Pittsburgh for Staal, whom Penguins management remains keen to re-sign.
With unrestricted free agency only a month away, long-time St. Louis Blues defenseman Barret Jackman faces an uncertain future.
Jackman, 31, enjoys living and playing in St. Louis, but it remains to be seen if he still fits into the club’s future plans.
Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Jackman met with Blues GM Doug Armstrong following the club’s second round playoff elimination and the two plan to meet again prior to July 1.
Paired with Kevin Shattenkirk, Jackman had one of his best seasons, finishing with the second-best plus-minus (plus-20) on the team, but both struggled in the post-season, with Jackman posting a team-worst minus-8.
Having averaged $3.6 million per season on his recent contract, Jackman didn’t rule out a hometown discount, but stressed his role with the club would be a factor.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla's Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.