It's officially the offseason in the NHL, and as such, it's rumor time.
Capitals fans are probably tired of hearing about it, but Alexander Semin's name has been thrown around in quite a few circles. Which is not that surprising considering:
a) He's on the books for only one more year and $6 million.
b) The team will be hard pressed to re-sign him after next season with most almost half of the salary cap committed to Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mike Green.
c) He was the goat of the 2010 playoffs, failing to score after firing a first-round best 44 shots on goal.
The following was nothing short of a throwaway line in Andrew Gross' Hockey Hot Stove column, but it was said nonetheless:
The Capitals, off another disappointing season as they had the most regular-season points but were eliminated in the first round, may break up their core. The likely trade suspect is right wing Alex Semin, a 26-year-old Russian who had 40 goals and 44 assists last season.
There's no denying that Semin is one of the most talented players in the NHL, has frustrated Caps fans with his inconsistent play for years, and could yield a substantial return in a trade, but on what basis is Gross basing his speculation? Did he speak to members of the Caps organization or executives around the NHL who have inquired about his services?
Probably not. So remember, Caps fans: a rumor is a rumor, haters gonna hate, and Alex Ovechkin's best friend is Alex Ovechkin's best friend.
It would be pretty shocking if the Caps began the 2010-2011 NHL season without the "other" Alex on the roster.