CBC’s Elliotte Friedman noted Washington Capitals right winger Alexander Semin enjoyed playing with Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk at the recent World Championship.
Friedman wondered if Semin, an unrestricted free agent July 1, would be willing to accept less money to sign with the Red Wings and if he’d get along with coach Mike Babcock.
It’s believed the Wings, who’ll have more than $26 million in cap space if they spend toward next season’s projected $70.3-million cap, will pursue New Jersey’s Zach Parise if he becomes a free agent.
Semin, however, would be a viable Plan B if they lose out in the Parise sweepstakes.
Semin has drawn criticism for a perceived unwillingness to play a two-way style and inability to rise to the occasion in the playoffs.
Still, Babcock has the ability to get the most out of his players and playing with Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg could also inspire Semin to be more defensively responsible.
Then again, he may get a lucrative offer from Kontinental League team SKA St. Petersburg and be taken off the NHL free agent market entirely.
BLUE JACKETS NEED A GOALIE, SHARKS HAVE PLENTY
When the Columbus Blue Jackets begin shopping right winger Rick Nash later this month, the San Jose Sharks are expected to be among the suitors.
CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz assumed the Blue Jackets would seek a goaltender as part of the return for Nash and suggested that was one position of strength within the Sharks organization.
The Sharks currently have starter Antti Niemi (who has three more years at a cap hit of $3.8 million remaining on his contract), backup Thomas Greiss and promising Tyson Sexsmith as their top three netminders.
Kurz believes the Blue Jackets would have the most interest in Niemi, though parting with him would leave the Sharks without an experienced starter.
Unless Sharks management decides to get into the bidding for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo or can convince Boston’s Tim Thomas to play for them next season, it’s unlikely they’ll toss Niemi into any offer for Nash.
KUBA ON HIS WAY OUT OF OTTAWA?
Defenseman Filip Kuba’s tenure with the Ottawa Senators appears to be over.
Earlier this week, Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen reported Senators GM Bryan Murray is making plans to move on without the 35-year-old Kuba, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent.
Murray said he last spoke to Kuba’s agent before the season ended and hasn’t heard from him since. Scanlan claimed the Senators were only interested in bringing back Kuba, who earned $3.7 million this season, if he agreed to a pay cut.
With Sergei Gonchar under contract next season at $5.5 million and Norris Trophy finalist Erik Karlsson in line for a big raise, it’s understandable why Murray is unwilling to pay Kuba the same salary he earned this season.
Murray’s willingness to part with Kuba likely means he won’t be shopping Gonchar, because that would create a serious shortfall of skilled, experienced defensemen on the Senators blueline.
WILL JAGR RETURN TO PHILLY?
Veteran right winger Jaromir Jagr could be returning for another season with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Following the Flyers’ playoff elimination last month, there was concern Jagr would consider moving on, as he was apparently unhappy with his role in the post-season and in being bounced around the lineup.
However, Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com reports Jagr’s agent and Flyers GM Paul Holmgren acknowledged mutual interest in working out a new one-year contract for the 40-year-old winger. Jagr had a respectable 54 points in 73 games in his first NHL season since 2007-08.
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.