Alexander Semin has been available to the highest bidder since July 1, but remains unsigned. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Former Washington Capitals left winger Alexander Semin remains unsigned, but at least one NHL team is interested in him.
Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer tweeted Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is still in the market for a top-six forward and has had several conversations with Semin’s agent, Mark Gandler, regarding a one-year contract.
Alexander subsequently reported Semin - who earned $6.7 million last season - is believed to want $7 million or more per season.
But it’s become apparent Semin’s bad reputation among NHL GMs has adversely affected his market value.
Rutherford first expressed interest in Semin in early July after losing out in the bidding for free agent left winger Zach Parise and dropping out of the Rick Nash trade sweepstakes.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are also believed to have interest in Semin, but the Hurricanes appear to be the only club to have talked contract with his agent.
Gandler also reportedly told a Russian newspaper the Capitals are asking his client to return “all the time.” The Washington Post reported Capitals GM George McPhee last weekend was “intentionally vague, but wouldn’t rule out the possibility.”
Despite the lack of scoring talent in the free agent market, it seems unlikely Semin will get a multi-year deal. If the Hurricanes are seriously pursuing him, perhaps the option of playing alongside the Staal brothers and Jeff Skinner in Carolina for a season is Semin’s best chance to silence his critics.
The New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks reportedly attempted to land Shea Weber before the Flyers signed him to an offer sheet last Wednesday.
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance examined some alternatives for those teams, listing Phoenix’s Keith Yandle and Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester as trade options or, looking toward next summer’s unrestricted free agent market, when Vancouver’s Alexander Edler, Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom and the New York Islanders’ Mark Streit might be available.
Custance reported the Coyotes aren’t shopping Yandle and would require a “good young center” as part of any potential package.
Despite Bouwmeester’s expensive contract, teams would have better luck landing him via trade, though he carries a no-movement clause that gives him control over his future for the remaining two years of his deal.
If Flames management can convince “Jay-Bo” to accept a trade, they’ll likely want a scoring forward in return.
As for waiting until next summer for Edler, Enstrom and Streit, the trio could be re-signed by their current clubs or dealt to teams willing to sign them before they even become available.
The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa reported Sunday that “several lower-revenue teams” have contacted the Bruins about goaltender Tim Thomas, who decided to sit out this coming season.
Those clubs apparently want to take on Thomas’ $5-million cap hit to help them reach the salary cap floor, currently projected at $54.3 million.
Shinzawa suggested those teams could revisit their interest when the new collective bargaining agreement is implemented, because it’s expected the cap floor will be lowered. It’s possible the Bruins will want a conditional draft pick in return in case Thomas changes his mind about playing this season.
Former New York Islanders center Alexei Yashin, whose last NHL season was 2006-07, is planning a comeback.
Yashin’s agent, Mark Gandler, claimed the Russian has already received a “concrete offer” from an NHL team, though he didn’t elaborate as to which club it came from.
The 38-year-old has spent the past five seasons in Russia’s Kontinental League and 2011-12 was his worst, as he only posted 20 points in 43 games for CSKA Moscow.
Yashin was bought-out of his NHL contract by the Islanders in 2007 and the team will keep carrying that hit against its salary cap through the 2014-15 season.
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.