Washington Capitals: Making Sense Of The Alexander Semin Extension

December 27th, 2009 by T S Leave a reply »
According to several reports, the Washington Capitals have signed right winger (RW) Alexander Semin to a one-year extension (expiring at the end of the 2010/11 season).  Semin, who would have become a restricted free agent at the end of this season, reportedly will receive a $1 million raise to $6 million for 2010. As a term of the extension, Semin will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) when the contract expires.

One must wonder what led Capitals' GM George McPhee to give Semin one additional year, and allow him to become an UFA. Looking at the expected UFA market for RW next year yields the best clue to signing Semin through the 2010/11 season.  The biggest names on the list, Pavol Demitra, Owen Nolan, Scott Walker, Teemu Selanne, and Bill Guerin, are all over 33 years old. The "younger" RWs on the list are led by Marek Svatos, Evgeny Artyukhin, and Jordin Tootoo. None of the aforementioned eight players can be considered an upgrade to Semin.

Perhaps this one-year extension is simply a move to buy some time to work a salary cap-friendly, multi-year deal. Headlined by the likes of aging stars Martin St. Louis and Alexei Kovalev (and younger ...

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