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Coming off the final year of an entry-level contract, Washington Capitals restricted free agent John Carlson has yet to sign a new deal with the team. However, the 22-year-old defenseman is not concerned about the situation.
Stating his love of Washington and an understanding of the business, Carlson made it clear that he has no desire to play with any other organization.
Via The Washington Times:
"I love Washington, I love being here, I stay here for a lot of the summer. I like my teammates, I like the rink, I like the fans," he said. "I can't imagine playing anywhere else."
Carlson was chosen with the No. 27 overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Capitals and has since blossomed into a key member of the team's defense. In 2011-12, he averaged around 22 minutes per game, which was the second-most minutes of any other defenseman on the team (Dennis Wideman averaged 23:54) and played substantial time on both the power play and penalty kill.
In 186 career games, the Massachusetts native has registered 17 goals and 58 assists for a total of 75 points. He has also played in all 82 games in each of the last two seasons.
While their Eastern Conference competitors have made bold moves this offseason, the Capitals have mostly remained quiet.
The signing brings the end of a decade in Washington for the Russian since Semin was drafted 13th overall in the 2002 NHL Draft, although it certainly has been a roller coaster ride for him in the nation's capital.
Semin joined the Caps in 2003-04, but he refused to report to the American Hockey League the next season during the NHL lockout, choosing to play back in Russia. Once the lockout ended, Semin cited military obligations and failed to come back to the National Hockey League, forcing the Capitals to go to court to get him to honor the remaining years of his signed NHL deal.
Eventually, when he did return, with Alexander Ovechkin on the roster, Semin settled back in Washington in 2006-07, and showed flashes of his ample talent, hitting the 40-goal mark back in 2009-10.
But after signing a pair of one-year deals with the Capitals, Semin's production dropped to 21 goals this past year, and it seemed Washington didn't have a lot of interest in signing Semin again for next season. The Capitals chose to let him hit the unrestricted free-agent market, and didn't seem to be making a serious effort to bring him back to the club next year.
For his part, Semin's agent, Mark Gandler, didn't help matters, chiding the Capitals for Semin's lack of ice time and role with the club on 106.7 The Fan back in May. Gandler said Semin didn't want another one-year deal, opting for the security of a longer-term deal for more overall money than he had received in his last two years.
Those two one-year deals - worth $6 million and $6,7 million respectively - were signed mid-season, but when the team didn't re-sign him during a campaign where he struggled, it seemed like a parting was on tap.
One on the free-agent market, Semin's reputation hurt his negotiating power with other clubs, and in the end, he had to settle for another short-term deal.
Carolina GM Jim Rutherford - who eventually signed him - told the Raleigh News & Observer of his concerns earlier this month.
"We would look at Semin on a short-term basis," Rutherford said. "We wouldn't want to get locked in to anything, because we've all heard the stories about him.
"We do like his skill level. It could be that we could bring him in for a year, get to know him and go from there in terms of considering something longer term," he added.
Other general managers - including Buffalo GM Darcy Regier - dismissed signing him completely, with Regier indicating he didn't even make an offer apparently due to the baggage Semin is reported to carry. Other potential suitors - including the Red Wings, Penguins and Islanders - seemed to cool on the player's demands and left him back to a one-year deal to try and restart his NHL career.
With a deal now signed, the one-year deal offers Semin a change of scenery and a short-term deal to make his case for next summer.
With declining numbers, and a reputation that isn't high around the league, a good rebound season - along with more of an effort to improve his image as a team player and someone who can help market a franchise would go a long way to getting that long-term deal that Gandler spoke of.
The Hurricanes are in the midst of a remake after missing the playoffs three straight years, acquiring Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins at this year's draft and then making overtures to some of the big-ticket free agents this offseason to make a big splash.
With Semin on board, Carolina hopes that the skill level that Rutherford spoke of helps boost the Hurricanes' attack. Carolina did see a lot of Semin lighting the lamp in the last few years, as he had 27 goals in 41 games against the Hurricanes - most against any NHL club.
In a smaller market - and not having to be the team's primary star with Eric Staal and Cam Ward on the Hurricanes roster - Carolina isn't a bad fit for Semin, and with a short-term deal, if the experiment fails, the team won't be dragged down with a longer-term if it doesn't work out.
For Washington, who seemed content to let Semin walk, it's the end of a chapter of a player who had the skill level among the best in the NHL - but didn't always display it.
Brilliant at times, Semin also frustrated fans with his 56 penalty minutes - fourth-most on the Capitals - which seemingly came at inopportune times. But the big question for the Capitals now isn't letting Semin walk - it's how you replace the skill level in the lineup.
While Semin wasn't one to go into high-traffic areas, he still possessed a deadly shot and was able to dart around and create scoring chances. And that is something the Capitals will miss next season with his speed requiring defenders to be mindful of the winger. For all the problems Semin had in the postseason when defenses tightened up, Semin could be an excellent regular-season player, and now Washington's loss is the gain of a Southeast Division rival.
Alexander Semin is trading one red jersey for another. The winger has signed a one-year deal worth $7 million with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, according to a tweet by Yahoo! Sports writer Dmitry Chesnokov.
My sourcewho is close to Semin on Semin signing w/ @NHLCanes: "It's true." So, Alexander Semin is set to play in Carolina next year.— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) July 26, 2012
The signing by Carolina ends a seven-year career marked by inconsistency, especially in the playoffs. In his NHL career he has scored 197 goals and 408 points but despite his offensive prowess, Semin could never seem to find any amount of consistent play. In the postseason, in 51 games he has only scored 15 goals and 19 assists.
Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is plenty pleased with the signing.
We did a lot of research about Alexander. Discussions about his fit with our team included coaches, players & staff.— Jim Rutherford (@HurricanesGM) July 26, 2012
For his part, Semin is quoted in a Hurricanes press release as saying: "I'm very happy to be a Carolina Hurricane. It's a great fit for me. I look forward to playing with great players, and putting together a winning season."
Semin's departure now really shows that the Capitals are trying to get players on this team that will completely buy in to Adam Oates' new system.
While it initially appeared that the Washington Capitals are done with winger Alexander Semin, his agent, Mark Gandler, says that the Capitals have been very aggressive in trying to resign the forward.
Semin's agent Mark Gandler tells SovSport "Washington is constantly offering us to come back." #Caps— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) July 19, 2012
Semin scored 54 points, 21 goals during the 2011-12 regular season and scored an additional three goals in the playoffs. Semin has been criticized quite a bit for his enigmatic play while with the Capitals given how productive he can be.
The Capitals obviously want to see if he could be a contributor in new head coach Adam Oates' offensive system. However, Semin would more than likely be wanting to sign a long-term extension to secure his future.
Green, who was a restricted free agent this summer at age 26, elected not to sign his one-year, $5 million qualifying offer with the Capitals Sunday. Instead, he gets a three-year deal - at a raise over the four-year, $21 million deal that expired this past month.
With the market for free-agent defensemen heated right now - former Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman earned a five-year, $26.25 million deal from the Flames just last month - the Capitals give Green a raise - but they take up at least two years the Calgary native would have gotten as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
But injuries took their toll on the blueliner the last two seasons, and even impacted the negotiations with the Caps this past year.
"It's been a long process," Green told reporters on a conference call Monday. "I think negotiations started early on in the year. Then with the setback of the injury, we were going to wait, and then wait after the playoffs, wait after the draft and then after free agency. It's been pushed back, but I think we knew I obviously wanted to be in Washington, and they wanted me back.
"So, there were times to wait, but I'm glad it's done with now."
Just 18 months ago in January 2011, Green was named an assistant captain for Team Staal in his first All-Star Game in Raleigh, and was coming off back-to-back seasons of being nominated for the league's Norris Trophy for top defenseman.
Since that All-Star appearance, Green has just three goals and six games in 37 regular-season contests, but the Capitals are banking on a full recovery from the Calgary native.
He was injured when a slap shot from Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik injured him on February 6, 2011, and Green just played two regular season games the rest of the way, suffering a pair of injuries that kept him out of the lineup for most of the regular season and was knocked out for Game 4 in the second-round sweep by Tampa.
This past year, a sports hernia limited Green to just 32 regular season games, but he did play all 14 playoff contests.
"I'll be honest with you, I really didn't feel like I was back to myself until the middle of the playoffs [this year]," Green said. "Not as far as the mental game, but just my injury from surgery, not that it was bothering me to the extent to the extent I couldn't play my game or whatnot, but physically it took that long for my injury to heal and play my game again. It was a little too late, the season ended too short for us.
"But I'm 100 percent now and ready for next season."
Green thrived under former coach Bruce Boudreau's offensive style which allowed him to rush the puck up ice, and he established himself as one of the league's top puck-rushing defensemen from 2007-08 to 2009-10. But his game was hemmed in under the change to a more defensive posture under Boudreau and Dale Hunter when he was more limited with what he could do offensively.
Now, with new coach Adam Oates bringing a more offensive style back to the Caps, Washington hopes Green can capture some of that saw him record 149 points in two seasons before his injury troubles set in.
"I think that I played more of a defensive game [under Hunter], in that sense, that's what Dale expected was grinder, chip-in, chip-out kind of game," Green said. "I respect him as a coach, played that way, and played hard for him.
"But I also at the same time excited Adam is here, really excited. From what I heard and how he likes to coach it fits my style of play and a lot of the other guys. Hopefully there's a balance between Bruce Boudreau and Dale. I think Adam's the guy."
While Green could have taken the qualifying offer and likely reach free agency next summer, he opted to take a longer deal and keep himself in the fold two more years when the Capitals offered it.
"I was more looking for two [years], but three made sense for us. I want to be in Washington, and when they offered three, I had no problems signing another year because I love it there."
And, asked if he could get back to the 70-point plateau he enjoyed before the injuries set in, Green left little doubt.
"100 percent. It'll be next year," he said. Asked again, he replied "Absolutely. There's no question about it. I feel like I'm getting into my prime."
After turning down the Capitals' intial qualifying offer to him, defenseman Mike Green has re-signed with the Washington Capitals, agreeing to a three-year, $18.25 million extension. Despite missing much of last season with injury problems, Capitals general manager George McPhee is hopeful that the 26-year old can be an asset going forward under new coach Adam Oates.
We are pleased to re-sign Mike Green to a new contract, Mike is one of the best young defensemen in the National Hockey League and is just entering his prime. He will continue to be a key part of our team moving forward.
Green played in 32 games last season and recorded seven points on three goals and four assists, but managed to have a plus-five rating overall. The hope here is that with a full offseason of recovery, Green will come back for the 2012-13 season and recapture the form that got him named as a finalist for the Norris Trophy (Defensive Player of the Year) twice.
Defenseman Mike Green has declined the Capitals’ one-year qualifying offer of $5 million but is expected to continue negotiations with the team on a new contract.
Green, who made $5 million in each of his last three seasons with the Caps, had until 5 p.m. on Sunday to agree to the Caps’ offer and when he didn’t he became a restricted free agent able to sign an offer sheet with another NHL team.
Green had previously declined to exercise his arbitration rights. Green played in only 32 games for the Capitals in the 2011-2012 season and has a history of injury. Despite that, general manager George McPhee clearly sees some value in retaining him, and indicated that he expected a deal sooner rather than later.
Clackson spent the 2011-12 season with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL (Vancouver Canucks affiliate), for whom he played 43 games and recorded one goal, one assist and 193 penalty minutes, the most on the Wolves and the eighth-most in the AHL.
Clackson was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers with the 215th overall pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and played three seasons at Western Michigan University. In all, Clackson has played 247 AHL games for both Chicago and the Philadelphia/Adirondack Phantoms (AHL affiliates of the Flyers).
Matt Clackson is the son of Kim Clackson, who played for Pittsburgh and Quebec between 1979-81.
The former first-round Draft pick will try to recapture his once-promising form in Washington
The Washington Capitals have made a few moves in NHL free agency during the 2012 offseason, including signing left winger Wojtek Wolski to a 1-year deal the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. The 26-year old Wolski played for both the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers during the 2011-12 NHL season, picking up four goals and eight assists for the season.
Wolski was a first-round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche and has also spent some time with the Phoenix Coyotes. The 6-foot-3 215 pound winger was part of the same draft class as current Capitals Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz and Mike Green. Wolski ranks tied for sixth in scoring for the 2004 draft class.
The Washington Capitals announced a minor, but not insignificant free agent move on Wednesday morning. The team re-signed center Zach Hamill to a one-year deal for the 2012-2013 season.
Just 23-years-old, Hamill was a first-round pick by the Boston Bruins in the 2007 NHL Draft. He was acquired by Washington on May 26, 2012, in the Chris Bourque trade. He won the Bobby Clarke Trophy in 2006-2007 for recording the most points in the Western Hockey League in 2006-2007.
Last season, Hamill had eight goals and 13 assists in 41 games with the Providence Bruins of the AHL. In 256 career AHL games, Hamill has recorded 44 goals and 139 points. He has played in 20 career NHL games, picking up four assists in that span.
After one season with the Washington Capitals in which he finished with four goals, Jeff Halpern is off to his fifth team in four seasons on a one-year deal with the New York Rangers. The 36-year old center's 2011-12 season was his second stint with the Capitals during his career after starting his first six NHL seasons in Washington.
The one-year deal with the Rangers is worth $700,000 according to CapGeek.com. Halpern has many ties to the D.C. area including being a member of the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame as well as being married to a former Washington Redskins cheerleader.
Halpern has scored 146 goals in 861 career NHL games since going undrafted in the 1999 NHL Draft.
On Tuesday morning came reports from Sportsnet that former-Capitals winger Alexander Semin has come to an agreement with the Penguins on a one-year deal. However, those reports appear to be premature and based on very little sourced information, making the likelihood of the reports being true very slim.
The Pens Blog took a look at the circumstances regarding the report and why they believe it is based upon "false rumors from two nights ago." Among the questionable nature of the report is the fact that Penguins general manager Ray Shero spoke to Dan Rosen on Monday and said he wasn't particularly "bonkers" about signing anyone right now.
Semin has spent all seven years of his NHL career with the Washington Capitals, but is now a free agent that has reportedly been interested in signing with the Penguins, but for a long-term deal.
Editor's note: It appears this report is premature. We apologize for the confusion.
Less than 24 hours after Ted Starkey analyzed the curious case of Alexander Semin's unsuccessful free agency thus far, the winger has apparently found his team. Sportsnet reported on Tuesday morning that the former-Capitals player will sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins on a one-year deal.
Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh reported on Thursday that Semin had interest in playing for the Penguins, but was looking for a long-term deal with the team. That didn't come to fruition for the 28-year old, though, as he has reportedly received only a one-year deal with the Penguins.
Semin scored 197 goals in 469 games played during his seven years with the Capitals, the only team he's played with during his career in the NHL.
Why hasn't the free agent winger found a landing spot yet?
Alexander Semin's free agency saga has received an interesting twist, as the forward has apparently received a substantial offer from CSKA Moscow of Russia's KHL.
The story, first reported by Slava Malamud of Sport-Express, contains an unconfirmed report that CSKA has offered a four-year contract worth $9.2 million per year.
Semin made $6.7 million last season with the Washington Capitals, and if the offer by CSKA is in fact true, that is much more than anything he has been offered to stay in the NHL. It will be interesting to monitor this story going forward, as it seems that Semin will have to make a decision between staying in the NHL or heading back home to Russia to play in the KHL.
Jay Beagle hasn't put up any kind of offensive numbers during his time as a sometimes fourth-liner with the Washington Capitals, but he's effective at eating up ice time without shipping a high volume of goals, which was good enough to earn him a new contract with the team.
#Caps sign Jay Beagle to 3-year deal worth $2.7 million. He was a restricted free agent.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) July 5, 2012
The deal will pay Beagle $700,000 in 2012-13 and $1 million in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. The Capitals will take an annual cap hit of $900,000.
Beagle turned down his option for salary arbitration earlier in the day, for now obvious reasons. He did very little in his career up until the second half of last season, when he became a key defensive center and penalty-killing option for the Capitals.
On the same day that the Capitals signed one of their restricted free agents, Mathieu Perreault, to a two-year deal, two other restricted free agents declined to exercise their arbitration rights, according to Mike Vogel of washingtoncaps.com.
So, Capitals general manager George McPhee continues to have a quiet offseason and avoids the awkwardness of an arbitration hearing. It remains likely that Green and Beagle will negotiate new deals with Washington, since NHL general managers are notoriously reluctant to procure offer sheets to restricted free agents and risk losing multiple draft picks as compensation.
For the last two seasons in Washington, Mathieu Perreault has helped the Capitals fill a sizeable gap at the second-line center role. Now, with a new deal with the Caps, he might be asked to fill a void at wing on one of the top two lines.
The Washington Capitals are trying to make sure that a core group of players from last year's team are still around. They have addressed this by signing center Mathieu Perrault, according to a report by Washington Times Capitals reporter Stephen Whyno.
According to Mike Vogel, Perreault will receive $1 million in 2012-13 and $1.1 million in 2013-14 for an annual cap hit of $1.05 million.
The signing does provide the Capitals with a speedy point man that can get up and down the rink very well. Last season, Perrault played in 64 games and tallied 14 goals with 16 assists. He finished the year with a plus-nine rating, scored two power play goals and netted four game winning tallies in the regular season.
The Detroit Red Wings were like many teams on Wednesday who missed out on free agent defenseman Zach Parise who signed with the Minnesota Wild. Now the Red Wings have their eye on Washington Capitals right wing Alexander Semin.
Semin has been considered the backup plan for the Red Wings and they are now making inquires about Semin. There was a report from MLive that the Red Wings are not keen on signing Semin:
The Red Wings are not high on skilled right wing Alexander Semin, the second-best available forward, due to concerns about commitment and effort that have dogged him his entire career. They would be hesitant to sign a player like that to a long-term deal.
Hillen, 26, signed with the New York Islanders in 2008 after going undrafted and played in four different seasons with the team before signing with the Nashville Predators for the 2011-12 season with whom he made his playoffs debut. Hillen has 56 career points in 230 games during his career in the NHL. He appeared in 55 games during the 2011-12 season with the Predators and finished the season with 65 blocked shots.
The move was announced just two days after McPhee called the available free agents "not a great crop" and that "it's hard to survive bad contracts." Accordingly, McPhee's only two moves in free agency thus far have been to sign depth players like Hillen and Joey Crabb.
The Capitals will likely look for improvements via the trade market.
The road to Washington was a long one for George McPhee's newest free agent signing.
It is expected that Stafford and Marshall will spend this season in the AHL. Stafford has only played seven career NHL games, last making an NHL appearance for Phoenix during the 2010-11 season. Marshall has only played in 10 NHL games, all for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2011-12 season. He was acquired by the Capitals on February 2 of this year in exchange for Matt Ford.
Stafford recorded 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists) in 48 games last season with Portland and Hamilton of the AHL. Marshall recorded six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and 116 penalty minutes in 63 games last season with Hershey and Adirondack, also in the AHL.
The Washington Capitals announced on Monday that the team has signed right winger Joey Crabb to a one-year deal. Financial terms of the contract were not revealed by the team. Darren Dreger of TSN reported that the deal was worth $950,000.
Crabb played 67 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. The 29-year-old recorded 11 goals, 15 assists and 26 points, all representing career highs. Four of his goals were game-winners, which tied him for the second most on the Maple Leafs. Versatility is what makes Crabb an appealing addition for the Capitals. He also spent time on the penalty kill unit.
The 6'1" 190-pound Alaska native has 144 NHL games under his belt with Toronto and Atlanta. He won a Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves in 2008.
The Alexander Semin era is more than likely coming to a close on Sunday, according to a report by Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com. Semin's agent, Mark Gandler, says that there have been no negotiations between the team and the winger and there are no plans to start in the next 48 hours.
Gandler told CSNWashington.com he has had no contract negotiations with the Capitals for the 28-year-old winger and does not expect any to begin in the next 48 hours. He also said he does not anticipate the Capitals trading Semin's rights to another NHL team, as they did with goaltender Tomas Vokoun and defenseman Dennis Wideman.
Semin's time in Washington has been fraught with peaks and valleys. While he has been a great scorer at times, 197 goals and 408 points in seven seasons with the Capitals, his postseason performance has been wholly inconsistent, scoring five goals and nine assists in the 2009 playoffs to only 2 assists in the 2010 playoffs.
The Capitals obviously are trying to revamp the team going into the 2012-13 season and Semin just doesn't have the consistent play to justify another one year extension on.
Don't expect a bevy of big-name signings on July 1
While it was reported yesterday by 106.7 the Fan's Capitals beat reporter Sky Kerstein, senior writer for WashingtonCaps.com Mike Vogel confirmed today that the Washington Capitals have made offers to all of their restricted free agents.
The #Caps have issued qualifying offers to all seven of their RFA players: Beagle, Carlson, Carman, Green, Hamill, Marshall and Perreault.— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) June 15, 2012
Retaining John Carlson and Jay Beagle is pretty big for the Capitals. Both players were big contributors during the Capitals' playoff runs this past season. Retaining Mike Green could be a curious decision given his lack of production and his injury history, but obviously George McPhee hopes that some continuity with Green can help the team next season.
Mathieu Perrault is coming off his first full season in the NHL and McPhee thinks there is still plenty of potential in the 24-year-old.
The players have until July 15 to accept Washington's qualifying offer. Beagle, Green, and Perreault have until July 5 to indicate whether they want arbitration.
SB Nation DC's new Capitals editor explores what the summer holds for Washington's NHL team.
The Washington Capitals are still keeping their cards close to the vest when it comes to making a decision on free agents Alexander Semin and Dennis Wideman. Capitals general manager George McPhee has confirmed that the team has made no decision on the two unrestricted free agents.
McPhee: No decisions yet on Wideman and Semin.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 14, 2012
The Capitals are still looking to see if they can make the right deal to both players without choking themselves with the salary cap.
In addition to that, 106.7 the Fan's Capitals beat reporter Sky Kerstein reported that McPhee has made qualifying offers to all of the Capitals' restricted free agents.
#Caps GMGM says they are qualifying all their restricted free agents— Sky Kerstein (@SkyKerstein) June 14, 2012
Another veteran free agent will not be rejoining the Capitals in 2012. Center Jeff Halpern was recently informed by general manager George McPhee that the team has no interest in resigning the veteran according to Washington Post Capitals writer Katie Carrera. The decision did not really surprise Halpern at all.
I just think how the last 20 games went, it was there. You do your part and see where you fit in and I think I was able to do what I was brought in to do when I was given an opportunity to play. I was happy with how I played this year and when I talked to George, he agreed, but going into next year that spot has kind of been filled.
Halpern is now the third veteran player on the team to say he would not be returning. Forward Mike Knuble announced who would not return for the 2012-13 season and goaltender Tomas Vokoun was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a seventh round draft pick.
The Washington Capitals will not be bringing back winger Mike Knuble for the 2012-2013 season. Knuble revealed the news in the phone interview with the Washington Post, telling the paper that Capitals general manager George McPhee delivered the news to him about the team's decision.
Knuble spent three seasons with the Capitals. He now becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, when the NHL period for free agency begins. He turns 40 on July 4, which could limit his prospects in free agency.
The last season was a let down for Knuble. After being one of the team's top forwards, his ice time was slashed and the Capitals moved him to their fourth line. With just six goals, this year was the first time since 2001-2002 that he did not score at least 20 in a season.
Knuble told the Post that he can still play and would like to continue his hockey career.
"I feel prepared for anything," Knuble added. "I could be in hockey, outside of hockey - but my first priority would be to keep playing. You can run all sorts of scenarios in your head but you never know what might come down the line."
To Caps fans everywhere:thanks for an awesome 3 yrs in DC. We loved living and playing here. Great teammates, great friends. We'll miss it— Mike Knuble (@MikeKnuble22) June 6, 2012
The netminder recorded a 25-17-2 record in his one season in D.C.
The Washington Capitals have re-signed veteran goaltender Dany Sabourin to a one-year deal according to a press release by the team. Sabourin backed up starting goaltender Braden Holtby for the first four games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs when fellow goaltender Michal Neuvirth was injured.
He spent his entire season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL before being called up to the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sabourin, 31, went 18-12-5 with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 37 games with Hershey last season and posted a 3-2 record with a 3.19 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Sabourin has been in the league since being drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1998. Since then, Sabourin has played games for Calgary, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks, compiling a career record of 18-25-0-4 in 57 career games. He has a career GAA of 2.88 with a .898 save percentage.
The ongoing saga of Alexander Semin's impending free agency appears to have taken another lurch forward. On Tuesday morning, Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo Sports tweeted the following.
SKA is short for SKA Saint Petersburg, one of the best-supported clubs in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Founded in 1946, the club's roster currently boasts former NHL players Maxim Afinogenov and Petr Prucha.
There is a growing consensus among hockey observers that Semin's only chance to make the money he made as a member of the Capitals ($6.7 million in 2011-12) will come by returning to Russia on a lucrative deal. Considering that there has been mostly radio silence regarding potential NHL destinations, this new report adds fuel to the "Semin's gone" fire.
Alexander Semin has denied that he has decided to leave Washington, less than 24 hours after his agent told ESPN that the left winger would test the free agent market.
Speaking in Stockholm, Sweden, where he will join the Russian national team at the IIHF World Championships, Semin issued the following statement, according to Puck Daddy's Dmitry Chesnokov.
This is all just talk. Words can get twisted. There was no talk at all that I am not going to sign with the Capitals for sure. I have not talked to them [the Capitals] about leaving. And please don't ask me questions about the next season anymore.
Chesnokov, who has as much insight into the NHL's Russian contingent as anyone, added his own reporting, as well.
I was told the decision by Semin and his agent, made well before the playoffs, wasn't necessarily to test the free agency, but rather to take his time to see how the negotiations between the League and the union go regarding the new CBA. There's always a concern players will agree to another considerable rollback in salaries. Moreover, with the recent changes in Washington with Coach Dale Hunter's departure, it's also wise to wait and see who will be named the head coach of the underachieving team. Or maybe even a new general manager.
The key phrase there, of course, is "well before the playoffs." There's always the possibility that something changed to prompt Mark Gandler's outburst. Either way, the countdown to July 1 is on.
Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin wants to find an increased role on another team via free agency.
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